Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Porco Mondo

The double X Winter Olympic games begin in t minus 68 hours and you have yet to hear a peep from me and what my project is. That is because I have largely been consumed with any of the following things:

1 - Working, working, working. Large deadline was met Feb1st.
2 - Maintaining Team Boston. Now 100 members strong. Holy shit - I had no idea there were that many of us in Boston that knit to the point of distraction. No idea.
3 - Clearing my knitting plate. Yes, I do have this twisted mentality of needing closure on past projects in order to start a new one. Honestly, it's just a way to get this detritus out of my WIP pile and into the hands of the recipients, whom are mostly small children that and unable to hold me to my deadline.
4 - Being scared by phallic looking balloons with cock rings. (Can you feel the google hits that will come off of that one.)
5 - Practice being Italian.

Now, can you guess which of these is my favorite? Why yes, the practicing being Italian. I am of an Italian heritage. While I am not Italian like Ben, I do carry a lot of the stereotypical traits. I have a rack, I like to yell and hug, and I love to eat. Hey! You too can be Italian.

This year's games are held in Torino, Italy where the temperature is measured in Celsius (it was -1 today!), the wine flows freely (seriously, did you know that you can order wine and chocolate off of the official Torino Olympic website?), and where (apparently) Passion Lives. In fact, Wiki claims that Tornio is the birthplace of hard chocolate and the home of Lavazza. We so need to hop on a Fiat (manufacturing home in Torino) and go there! If it wasn't for the scary mascots - I just might.

And for the fact that Torino is across the ocean. For the mapless among us, it is located at the base of the Italian Alps east of the French Border. Have you all been to the Alps? Priceless. Breathtaking. Amazing. They make the Rockies look like baby giant poop. There are no words to describe this place. It is where Passion Lives. I would guess, based on it's location, that there is a good chance it is where sheep live too.

My final discovery was that, in 2006, Torino was named the World Book Capital by UNESCO.

Clearly there are other forces at work here. I cannot deny the responsibility. I must push aside all other responsibilities and move toward victory in these here Knitting Olympics. I will represent my Team and cheer others on. I will learn how to appropriately swear in Italian and will make pasta to honor my ancestors. I will help you with these endeavors as well.

First - the swearing. Now, you may be some kind of Beaver Cleaver who can successfully meet a knitting challenge without the utterance of fowl language. You, my friend, are a better person than I. For the ingrates among us and the children, such as myself, who heard these phrases as a child: La Perolacce

Here are some of my PGish favs:

bagascia - harlot (just in case you want to get mad at someone, I mean she is the one who started the madness)

bidone m. swindle, trick; fare un bidone a qualcuno to swindle someone.

cacasodo m./f. inv. an arrogant person, someone who thinks his/her [feces] doesn't stink; (lit.): one who defecates hard (from the verb cacare, meaning "to [defecate]" and the adjective sodo, meaning "tough" or "hard."

cavolo (vulgar) non me ne importa un cavolo! I don't give a damn about it!; (vulgar) testa di cavolo blockhead.

fesso v. (vulgar) silly, stupid, foolish, idiotic; fare il fesso to play the fool.

faccia di culo f. a butt-ugly person; used as an insult, referring to a big jerk; (lit.): face of a [buttocks].

finire in merda exp. to end miserably; (lit.): to end in [excrement].

merda f. (vulgar) excrement. (ed note: this means shit. I'm not sure why this site, which says penis licker, can't say the word shit.)

mostrare il dito medio exp. to give the finger; (lit.): to show the middle finger.

porco s.m. (vulgar) pig; porco mondo damn it all.

And only if you're ready to pull out the big guns:

vaffanculo (vulgar—contraction of the expression "Va' a fare in culo" up your [buttocks].) insult. (ed note: this could translate to mean fuck you. Which, again the irony, this website doesn't seem to be able to say. It can say the c word, but not fuck. Go figure.)

Please remember - for the sake of your family and friends. These words or phrases should only be applied to one's yarn (filo) or to your knitting (fare a maglia (I think)). We already know it is okay to speak to it as if it is a person - now you can speak to it as if it's Italian!

And finally - a hand gesture for you all (get your minds out of the gutter!)


or, my favorite

Scusi, devo andare al bagno.
(Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.)

Doesn't that look like a peace sign? No wonder Mussolini was so pissed off.

Those eye-talins are so much more sophisticated than I - I wish I had such a simple gesture for when I had to go to the bathroom. All I have is a stupid ass dance.

Next post - how to make homemade Pasta with your Grandma, or, what I did on my Christmas Vacation.
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Blogger Norma said...

Oy, those mascots ARE scary. I'm afraid to even think of the googles you're going to get with this post!

2/07/2006 9:06 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

I was told by a Roman woman that a lady should never say that she has to use the bathroom when in public. Rather, ask to use the public telephone (in a ristorante, for example). Apparently, this is an understood code. Nearly as stange as the mascots.

2/07/2006 10:31 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

Mussolini!! That hit the laugh-out-loud button.

2/07/2006 10:38 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

I love it! Thanks so much for the Italian lesson. My ex-husband and I owned a Fiat for our first car. Can I be in your Italian club?

2/07/2006 10:41 PM  
Blogger CynCyn said...

you say the word, and i'll go with you to Italy. Any day, any way. thanks for the swearing lesson. always good to know.

2/07/2006 11:14 PM  
Blogger maryse said...

since i'm married to an italian do i get to go to italy with you? i'll do all of the swearing!

2/08/2006 8:04 AM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

I've made homemade pasta, but not with gram. Yum. I've been on a bit of a food kick, so naturally I'd zoom in on the food!!

Swearing is always good to know in many languages. ; )

2/08/2006 8:19 AM  
Anonymous elisa said...

Thanks for the Italian lesson, dude!

I also like: fuori di testa (off one's head). I know I must be fuori di testa... ;)

Why are all the Olympic mascots so scary? Did you ever see the Simpson's episode where Homer orders like a million springs to be the Olympic mascot and calls them "Springy"? Too freakin' funny.

2/08/2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger julia fc said...

All the italian I learned on my honeymoon was "el molto famoso cantore de rock 'n roll de Boston" said of my husband. That was quite a party, esp once the kareoke machine got cranked up. Remin me to tell you sometime.

2/08/2006 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

"stronza" could come in handy - means bitch - my favorite Italian word :)

2/08/2006 9:26 AM  
Blogger Gypsymoth4 said...

I also have a rack and I'm, er, hairy. I'd like to be an adopted Italian, please.

2/08/2006 9:42 AM  
Anonymous melanie said...

So what's the italian word for Nice Rack?

2/08/2006 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Cassie said...

Fabulous vocabulary lesson there. I'm studying up on it. I'm Italian but didn't have the hereditary colorful language passed down. Go figure.

2/08/2006 10:55 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

I'll race you with my Vespa!

2/08/2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger wenders said...

Hey. I am Italian, too. Can I tell you how double-edged sword it is to live in the North End? I mean, my pizzelles and pasta sauce used to be envied, but now people just go out. Sigh.

But, that said, my family is Scilian...we're different anyway!

Knit on!

2/08/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Martita said...

How handy would that bathroom hand gesture be in a loud, crowded bar?? Seriously, gotta remember that one (and teach my friends).

It does not seem possible to create un-horrifying Olympic mascots. Perhaps it is some kind of Olympic curse inflicted by the ancient Greeks.

2/08/2006 2:04 PM  
Anonymous etherknitter said...

Fabulous, erudite, trivia-perfect post! I'm notta Italiano, but we getta along. (My name ends in a vowel, I must be Italian somewhere!)

2/08/2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger Cathi said...

How cute are you? Cute Cutey Cuterson. That's your new name.

2/09/2006 3:34 PM  
Blogger benedetta said...

porca puttana, now how can I not join the knitting Olympics??

bella la mia Wendy, you really swept me away with this post!

plus, half of my family is from Torino, and my cousins live right under the Mole Antonelliana, which i believe will be featured in the opening ceremonies, or something like that!

dunque, faro' i calzini nell'ultimo IK, va bene?

tanti baci

ps: le parolacce italiane sono fantastiche, feel free to email for translations!

2/09/2006 8:24 PM  

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