Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zoologischer Garten

Even on a winter day, if the weather is nice, I enjoy visiting the zoo with kids.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies...

Am I angry again?
No, just sort of.

What makes me angry this time?
People using words to cover their true intentions!
It's not about lies really, more about "deceiving".
Using complicated, uber-thought words which are supposed to impress but, in the end, just make you lose the meaning of a whole sentence and even the beauty of its clarity

Bad journalists. And there's a number of them!
Am I the only one to get mad every time an article has the substance of the hole in a donut?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Defense of Nutella

Scene from the movie "Bianca" with Nanni Moretti

Have you already heard about this lady who sued Ferrero for claiming Nutella is a healthy food?
To make a long story short: a Californian mom feeds her four year old daughter Nutella (I want to hope on bread), until she gets told by friends this spread isn't healthy at all (reading the nutritional info on the jar would have been easier), so she starts a lawsuit against Nutella producer "Ferrero".

Now, I don't want to convince anybody that this chocolaty spread is healthy; obviously, if you abuse it, it's even less.

Anyway, it's a social phenomenon: if Americans have peanut butter, Italians have Nutella (any personal preference is a different story).

Even though studies prove that peanut butter is a nutritional food, when you compare the ingredients and nutritional information of a conventional (not organic, nor natural) peanut butter and those of Nutella, you'll find there aren't such big differences: nutella might have generally more sugar, but some peanut butter brands use sugar too - and salt.

Anyway, I believe that Nutella is more inspiring than peanut butter. Nutella...literally makes you nuts.

There are songs, books and movies (see above) dedicated to Nutella.

Dario Cassini wrote a history of creation of Nutella in which he uses a made-up English to tell us about "how it all began".
It's a very hilarious story of God forbidding Adam and Eve to get to the Nutella tree and how the two, looking for something "good, very very good", prefer to leave heaven or even have pimples and diarrhea rather than live without Nutella...

In another booklet Cassini uses a made-up Latin to describe the thousand sneaky ways of getting to a Nutella jar when your mom is (or seems to be) away, which is a clear hint that EVEN MOMS WHO BUY NUTELLA KNOW IT IS NOT HEALTHY AND YOU SHOULDN'T EAT TONS OF IT!!!

*note that different Countries might use a different kind of oil according to their laws!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Berlin is a very fast city; maybe not so energetic like New York or dazzling as Tokyo; it's not as frenetic as Shanghai and certainly not as loud as  you might expect, but it is constantly changing (I like to think of it as a woman who changes her make-up or hairstyle very often): things happen very fast, people are always in a hurry. Still, they can find a lot of room to release the tension.

A short clip made by Giovanni Antico (and here some national pride is obvious) has been circulating on the web in the past months and it's a good example of what I mean.
I know that some of my friends haven't been to Berlin yet, so I post it as a sort of virtual trip....

I will have to quote from Julian Hoffmann's blog:

"Perhaps no other city has taken up as much imaginary space over the last century as Berlin. It is a city forever in flux, not in the gradual, accumulated ways of most urban spaces, but with sudden, violent reinventions. Berlin is a place without definition, occupying a landscape unmeasured. It shifts endlessly between memory and forgetting, between future and past; it encircles the span of dreams".

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Of Boxes, Beaches, Bambini and Berlin's Dog Doo


Bambini di maaammmmaaaa!

Reading my last post, you might have been wondering what was in my coffee that morning (btw, I believe I have an hypersensitivity to caffeine, and that is the reason why the coffee I brew is stomach-friendly!).
Point is, it has being very hard lately to find time, joy and room to write: we have one table in the kitchen but...that is not exactly one cozy and relaxed place.

When we moved to Long Island in 2009, we took with us some furniture and  then left it there, so now we need bookshelves, a table and some more chairs...
Which is in not so wild, but it obviously involves some organization.

Settling down takes longer than taking a plane back and having your own stuff, calling a couple of friends or going to your favorite bakery: we are at home, but sometimes I feel like I could just take the car (and we don't have a car here) and drive to the East End

 Orient Beach, Orient Long Island NY

Or take a stroll to the beach (let's don't talk about the beaches in Berlin, pleeeaaase).

Schlachtensee, in winter - well, believe it or not, this lake is very popular also in summer...and that would be one of the beaches.

Maybe I am not good at all in settling down: The boxes with books, clothes and toys arrived last week and I don't know if I have to be happy or if they just brought with them too many memories.
Some places just stay in you more than you had planned.
They say "home is where your heart is"...let's put it that way: the stethoscope hasn't found my heart beats yet.

To top this all, the situation with our daughter's school - more promising since this afternoon - is not at all clear: will she  attend the bilingual German-Italian school?Will she pass the German+ test?And if she does, will she automatically be admitted?
Or will she just attend a regular German school (plus point is that this is around the corner) and forget her Italian?

When you are split between different places, it is very hard to find a thread that keeps all together; I'd like to find it, I can't just "choose one", because one is not enough. Of course I try not to pour my own frustration into my innocent kids - well, not so innocent - still...

Some days I think I can make it, some other days all I think is:

That's one thing I find very annoying: dog doo.Everywhere.Not only in Berlin...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Words I Needed

When I dream there is always a glimpse of me that stays awake.

When I have nightmares, my mind finds strategies to reject the things I don't quite like.
If I get hurt, I get miraculously healed; If I lose a child somewhere, I find her years later on a street; If someone wants to kill me, I have another life at my hand...

This time it's about words.
In real life I don't have them. So they come to me when I sleep.
Someone wrote a letter to me with words I had wanted to hear: apologies, nice words, words of support, positive words, not necessarily happy words.
In my mind I had wanted to keep them as long as possible: I wanted to get up and write them down immediately, so that they are not LOST, so that those warm and good feelings could stay there forever, instead of vanishing so quick.

I was willing to stand up but I fell asleep again, into another dream and yet...the next dream was about having no paper.

My mind gave me  in my dream the first thing she could find to write down those words and - of course - I wrote them down.
They were written twice, so how could they be forgotten?

Indeed, I have already forgotten and when I try to remember a single one of them, all I can think about is that they felt as mysterious as one of those old parchments found in a sunken ship, with secrets to uncover, maps that lead to places you're not sure still exist... if ever.

Everything has drowned: words, memories, certainties.
What do you want to be sure of?What do you need to know?
Where do you want to find it?
Do you want to be a truth seeker or a survivor?