The perfect music combo

This is quite odd: I cannot fully explain it to myself. The thing is, these two songs that you can find below, represent for my mind the most effective, exhilarating, emotional combination that I could possibly find. A perfect marriage between two deeply contrasting flavors. Try listening to them, strictly without interruption, one after the other; please don’t paying attention to the videos that add nothing, if anything they take away. Have a good fight, have a good future! I know, I’m weird.

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Disturbances in the Force

A teeny weeny incident from last Sunday Mass. I won’t reveal the nickname I gave to this modern, ugly church, since I hope the fate implied in the name itself won’t materialize, eventually. It’s a hot August day. The front door is wide open, to give some relief to the faithful sitting in the pews. Most women are shaking the ventagli (fans) in their hands, since proper electric fans are banned due to Covid-19 (risks associated to air circulation are quite erratic and subjective, these days). Side note: in Italy there’s a document, called Green Pass for some reason, that is required in order to access a certain number of…

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10+1 reasons why my daughter is a cat

10 reasons for a 10 months old child. 1. She seems to enjoy walking on the edges, showing no fear. Ok, here’s a less than perfect parallelism: my daughter barely crawls and she has no idea of the risks involved, while cats are renown for their sense of balance and always land on all fours. But you’d be surprised to know how often they fall ruinously. Oh, since we’re here. 2. She crawls like a cat. Of course, you may add: that’s normal for infants at this stage. I’m not saying my offspring is special. I’m saying we’re closer to felines than we care to notice. 3. She meows. Although she emits all…

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12 random thoughts you now want to read

1. If you’re so fortunate to marry a woman who has no idea of what the classic sci-fi movie Alien is about, I said to myself, you can’t miss this opportunity: get her to watch it while she’s 8 months pregnant. That’s what I did with my wife. She remained unfazed. Notwithstanding that unwieldy blob inside her which is often bulging out in a few spots and seems on the brink of rupturing her belly to come out right then. Strong woman.   2. (Spoiler Alert) …and so it happened that we married within a week from The Big Bang Theory‘s Leonard and Penny marriage, and now we’re awaiting the birth of our firstborn daughter while watching…

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March 8: Women’s Day is actually for us Neanderthal males!

If you are based in the US and don’t know it already, today is International Women’s Day. Here in Europe everybody seems preoccupied with sending good wishes to all female acquaintances and with expressing their politically correct opinion on the subject of women’s rights. This is especially true since the advent of social media. Facebook timelines are inundated with cheesy stuff. Now, let’s think this through.   1. We are called to side with the weak and the needy. Especially victims. Moreover, those who unwittingly fall in the category of victims are suffering an even worse fate.   2. We’ve been accused of “homophobia and transphobia” because we didn’t cheer for the…

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Nora the Cat and a lesson about God

Nora the Cat in Catcerto, by Mindaugas Piečaitis

Yesterday I presented the adorable Nora, a pianist cat. Today’s video is even better: Mindaugas Piečaitis, a Lithuanian composer, managed to put together a piece inspired by and containing various fragments of music that Nora spontaneously executed. A live orchestra was used to accompany the video montage of Nora’s own solo improvisations. What makes this “Catcerto” unique is the fact that Piečaitis came up with a compelling, catchy music composition, while at the same time retaining the flavor of the original inspiration… something that came from a cat! Nora tends to play on keys that are close together, due to her physical limitations (being a small animal!) which translates into melancholic tunes; at…

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Nora the Cat Genius, playing the piano

Nora the cat

Plus some thoughts about the artists’ brains… You need to see this, if you don’t know about Nora already. Nora is a genius cat, capable of playing the piano, sorta. She got adopted by a music family. She had the opportunity to observe and eventually imitate the students that were getting piano lessons at her home.   A piano isn’t designed for a cat, her paws are too big to begin with. But it’s remarkable how she’s trying, producing somewhat convincing sequences of notes. Of course she can get easily distracted, but you must admit her performances are quite extraordinary.  Other cats may walk on keys, even step on a key producing a sound…

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Let me gloat. Trump won. I won!

As you may or may not know, in July 2015 I bet on Trump’s victory. Today, thanks to Donald Trump’s triumph, I won more than enough money to cover all the expenses incurred during the a recent tour trip to the USA that me and my wife took in September. I dubbed it “Our Donald Trump Trip” for obvious reasons.   Now I feel the need to celebrate the victory.   (All photos are © 2016 Alessandro Grasso.)   Thanks Donald!   It’s been a hell of a ride. Even if I’m living in Italy I followed the election very closely; not just because this was set to be the…

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On Prayers Of The Faithful And Distractions

Painting of the martyrdom of the 7 Maccabees

At Mass   Scene: today we went to Mass in a church that we know but isn’t our parish. All went well, no complaints (oh, how grumpy we pew-critters tend to be at times!): a good priest, a beautiful church full of art. Before the beginning of the service, while we are already seated, there comes a guy in charge of organizing stuff. The following exchange ensues: -Anyone wants to read the Readings? The Prayers Of The Faithful? Moment of indecision. I’m pondering the idea of blurting out the appropriate answer for an occasion like this, one I’ve prepared some time ago. -I may read a Reading, but… -Then it’s…

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Beware of heat waves, drink lots of fluids!

Bonus tip: go for a swim right after meals, it’s good for you!   It’s sort of a tradition for Italian newscasts (and I guess not just in Italy): during the summer, on a slow news day, expect a breaking news report for which they clearly didn’t break a sweat, rehashing the usual slush about the most predictable hot topic. Temperatures! Dear listeners, it’s hot out there! Drink lots of fluids, prefer light meals and avoid leaving the house in the central hours of the day, especially if you are elderly. Thanks a lot, you saved my life once again, just as last year. Actually I don’t watch TV at…

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A new beginning

cat pushing a watermelon

Ok, I’m determined to develop this blog properly, and this time it’s for real. It stayed put as a stealth website for years, semi-abandoned and without publicity, needing a layout overhaul and shamelessly sporting outdated code. Mea culpa. Such a long time… An example to put things in perspective: I chose the domain instead of the obvious, but I cannot even remember why. (From now on the .net redirects to the English version website.) World events are now unfolding rapidly (and I wasted enough time already): Erdogan’s Turkey is completing a transition into a full fledged dictatorship, Islamic terror attacks are becoming ever more frequent, not to mention…

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A morsel sized tale of animal mania

Basset Hound pendant

A telling episode re: animalism, the epidemic of people obsessing about the well-being of animals (especially pets) and treating them like humans. Yesterday at the beach. There comes a corpulent woman, I’d say weighing more than 300 pounds, firmly holding in her hand a leash carrying a small dog, about 4 pounds or so. I said she was carrying it because the rat-dog was literally hanging from her hand, suspended like a salami in a butcher shop. I know, I know. It’s neither polite nor acceptable to comment on other people’s weight issues (plus I’m overweight too!), but in this case she contrasted splendidly with her pedigree doggie. A sort…

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