Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bloggiversary Contest

Hey all, head on over to Nancy's Days Gone By blog, where she's having a bloggiversary contest!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment! EASY!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Weekly Topic #3

Well now that Summer has OFFICIALLY begun.. what do you do to beat the heat? A nice tall glass of lemonade? Frozen Coffee? A dip in the pool? What's your favorite way to keep cool this summer as things heat up?

Since I don't have regular access to a pool during the summer (only when we go to Virginia), and I can't swim anyway, I prefer to stay indoors with the air-conditioner. I do love some fresh made iced tea, too. Unsweetened. MMMMmmm. Nearly every morning when I come to work, I hit the coffee shop here for some iced coffee, too. Not the greatest iced coffee in the world, but totally palatable!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Knittin' n' Stuff

So I have returned from an altogether TOO SHORT vacation in Virginia. I accomplished all the knitting for my Dishcloth Pal while there! Woo! I hope that she likes everything. Here's what I knit:

A ball-band dishcloth, using Peaches n' Cream in the ecru and earth colorways. Kinda got some weird pooling of colors here. But up close it looks totally fine:

A bath mitt (of course), in Red Heart's new cotton line called Creme de la Creme. The colorway is jadetones, which looked more teal on the internets. I'm a bad judge of teal, since it's a color that I steer clear of.) It's definitely more on the emerald side, but I think it should match my pal's bath ok enough (she said it was teal green and white):

A new pattern dishcloth! This is called a smocked dishcloth. The cotton yarn I used for this is Village Craft in pistachio, which I got from Herrschner's online. I love how this looks! I see many more of these in my future:

I also finished a pair of socks that I cast-on at Christmas time. My mom saw me finishing these up and fell in love with them. So they are going to her next time I see her. The heel bit on these socks is a little wonky/short. But, they fit her just fine, so all's well that ends well, I guess! :-) Here they are:

So next on the list of knitting is a Grrr washcloth. I am about 1/3 done with this! Don't have a picture yet, but I love the way it's turning out! I'm using some leftover Lily Elite Cotton in a lovely yellow color. It's a shame that Lily discontinued this yarn. It's absolutely divine to work with. It has an extra soft and refined finish too.

Yesterday at work, my department received an e-mail from a professor in the department stating that his wife was having a baby next month and they know it's a boy. So I am going to try to crank out a easy, quick-knit baby blanket. I have a few patterns in mind. I bought some Bernat Denim Style yarn, which is a 60/40 acrylic/cotton blend from It should be coming in a few days.

Then I really need to get started on the messenger bag I designed. I mean, really. I wrote up the pattern about a month ago and even bought the yarn (just good ol' Peaches n' Creme). So I should get going with that. I'll post more info about this pattern later, but basically it's going to be orange-red with a black intarsia on the flap. The intarsia image is Spike from Cowboy Bebop. Yeah it's going to be super cool, if the pattern actually works. I think it will.

Oh God, I forgot that pinwheel sweater. Dammit. That has to get done. HAS TO. Maybe when I go back to Virginia next month I will bring ONLY that with me. Force myself to get it done.

So here's a couple of pictures of my niece, Aubrey, from last week:

In the froggy baby pool. Her happiness here was short-lived!

Making the rounds in the living room! She walks so well, too, and she's only 10 months old.

She's a cutie! But we're still waiting for her hair to show up! LOL

And here's a video! I think! Yes, she's holding a dryer sheet! She loved that thing. That's my nephew, Ethan, on the sofa. NO, that's NOT a real gun he's holding. It's a wooden one that my brother-in-law made when he was in shop class in high-school. Ethan thought it was just the coolest thing ever. Hey, he's 13.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dishcloth Exchange Weekly Topic #2

Living in Atlanta, I know Summer has truly 'arrived' when it begins to get humid. Blech. When I was a kid, I knew Summer was starting the easy way - School was out!! Share with us how you know that summer has truly 'arrived', or something that signifies the start of Summer in your world.

For me, it's a couple of things. First of all, that first 90+-degree day really sends home the message that summer has begun. Sometimes this even comes in May. A few years ago, one of my closest friends got married on May 7. The week prior to the wedding it was about 60 degrees all week long with drizzle. I don't know what happened, but on her wedding day, it was 97 degrees! But, anyway, it always means summer to me if it gets that hot outside.

Unfortunately, another herald that
the start of summer is upon me is bug bites. And that happens in a big way. At the start of the summer I get --- not kidding --- about 30-40 insect bites on me. Yes, at one time! I just came back from vacation in Virginia and I got no fewer than 35 bites, 18 on my left foot alone! ACK!

Friday, June 13, 2008

MY Lexicon -- Part Two

And now for Part Two of my lexicon
Random words and phrases not derived from Italian:

Again, in no particular order:

1. Bim: I've asked my mom where this is from and she has no idea. It's not derived from Italian; as least, I don't think it is. But this is a word that was said regularly in my household and now Todd has adopted it into his lexicon as well.
n. a Fart v. to fart. Example:
Todd: might want to leave the room for a few minutes.
Me: What? Why? Oh...NO. Did you do a bim?
lso: bimming, and bimmelations (very bad gas.)

2. Scrook: My grandmother would say this all the time. Something I realized about people from Philly: they are short on patience; they want to say and do things as fast as possible. This one word expresses an action that could take a whole sentence to describe.
v. to place something carelessly, or at the last minute, or both. Examples:
At the eleventh-hour, uncle Joe said he was coming to the wedding. We'll just have to scrook him at table 9.
past tense: I had no idea where to put the ficus tree she gave me. So, I just scrooked it in a corner somewhere.

3. Tanked up: I guarantee you, it's not what you think it is. You're probably thinking it has something to do with being drunk. Not at all. It's a great phrase and I think you might find yourself using it in the future! This phrase is, I think, unique to my family.
v. to be detained, or overwhelmed by a person, usually by having them talk your ear off. Example:
Sorry I am so late! I would have been here sooner, but I got tanked up on the phone by aunt Mary!

4. Tindle: One of the greatest words ever. EVER. Again, only in my family lexicon.
v. to man-handle, pick over, fondle, touch repeatedly. Example:
Todd: Oh look! They finally have that book that you wanted.
Me: Sweet.
Todd: Yeah, and it's the last copy.
Me: Oh...really? I don't want it, then. It's been all tindled.

5. Scrab: This is a rather interesting word. It was used regularly in my household.
n. any person, place, thing, situation in which you do not want to reveal the actual identity or truth. A secret. Scrabbelate v. to hide, place out of sight, or discontinue speaking about, keep secret. Example:

Mom: Did you get that scrab for Gina's party?
Grandmom: Yeah. I'll just scrabbelate it upstairs for now.
Mom: Good idea.

6. Geh head:
South Philadelphians slur their words into a jumbled-up mess of monosyllabic nonsense. But somehow, we all understand it. This is the truncated version of, "go ahead." It can be used several ways. You can use it sort of the way you'd use "roll up!" Or use it literally as "go ahead" to let someone go ahead of you. Or even use it as "continue." Interestingly enough, one would really only use this in conversation with another person. Here are some examples:
as "roll-up"
Todd: What should I eat for lunch?
Me: I don't know. What are you in the mood for?
Todd: You know, I think I really want to roll-up with some Chinese.
Me: Geh head!

as "go ahead"
This poor, old lady has been waiting here forever. "Ma'am? Geh head and get in front of me, I can wait."

as "continue"
Todd: So, this guy at the store said that he just got a new cat and---
Me: Oh! That reminds me, we need to buy more dry cat food. Sorry, I interrupted you. Geh head, finish.

7. PU:
(pronounced like the 2 letters: pee-you. Never pronounced poo or pew). I'm not sure how common this might be among other people. My family used it all the time, everyday. I have noticed it used in old Bugs Bunny cartoons!
This is basically an exclamation of frustration and/or disappointment. Sort of like saying "That sucks," or "big deal," or "who cares." Example:
I won first prize in a poetry contest and the prize turned out to be a lame t-shirt. PU.

8. Teh
or Tay-Ah or A-Ah (the "A" pronounced like the a in "pay"): This is more South Philly sludge. These all can mean any of the following things, all of which involve the act of handing over something to someone:
"Here." (Teh). "Here you are," or "Here you go," or even "Here it is" (Tay-Ah or A-Ah). Example:
Todd: Where is my eyeglasses case?
Me: I don't know.
Todd: Help me look for it?
Me: Ok ...[rummage around and find it]. Todd, a-ah.

9. It's a sin (and a shame):
This phrase is actually more endearing than it would seem. On one level, it's a direct replacement for "That's a shame," when you feel badly about something. But also we used it as a little declaration of endearment. Almost as if to say "Oh, how sweet," or "Isn't that cute?" Example:
Todd: Have you noticed where Fi-Fi is?
Me: No, where?
Todd: She's in her bed making biscuits.
Me: Aww. It's a sin.

Now, if you add "and a shame" to the phrase, you change the meaning to "it's unforgivable," or "it's a disgrace." Example:
Have you seen that old historic church lately? It's a sin and a shame all that graffiti on there.

10. Act right:
Uttered by every South Philly mom ever. And for full effect, you should pronounce act as "ack." Remember how I said South Philadelphians were not the most patient people around? Yeah. Well these two words are the ultimate reprimand to give to a child without wasting a lot of time doing it. Example:
Picture a child of about 9 with his mother in a crowded shopping mall. He's being obnoxious, whiny, and disruptive. His mother, at the height of exacerbation, just leans over to him and within an inch of his face she says gravely, "Act right."

11. Hen:
No, not a bird that lays eggs. Basically a substitute for the interrogative "What?"
Todd: [from the basement] Hey, G? Did you batyo a nwt tac fuss rolbth at the store yesterday?
Me: Hen?!

12. Larrigan:
This I know for sure is a man's last name. It was my grandmother or my great-grandmother that institutionalized the term "Larrigan" in our family. What does it mean? Well, it's been used as an expression of distaste, disapproval, and disappointment. It is always used as a stand-alone word. Who was this Mr. Larrigan? Again, not sure. He could have been a milkman, a fruit man, a Fuller Brush man, gas man, electric man, etc. But, apparently, he pissed off my grandmom or great-grandmom somehow to have his name immortalized forever as a routine negative exclamation in our household! Here's an example:
Mom: So I heard that cousin Elizabeth bought a new house in the suburbs. It has a lawn and a sun-room in the back with all windows on three sides.
Grandmom: Yeah, but then somebody's got to cut that lawn and clean those windows. Larrigan. They can keep it.

note:Yeah, my grandmom was kinda negative about a lot of things. But she did only go as far as the 6th grade (because she was the oldest girl and had to take care of her siblings); and she did nearly die twice in her teens from 2 unrelated illnesses (appendicitis, and a dental issue); and she buried younger siblings---babies who died, even; she she did survive the Depression, and she did have 3 miscarriages. A lot of trauma for one person, don't you think? But she loved us more than life itself. So, it never bothered me that she tended to see the glass as half-empty most of the time.

13. Making buttons (all colors):
Another grandmom-ism. I can't imagine where this got started. It's possible that it had something to do with her father, who was a tailor. But I can't be sure. It means: to be angry, fuming, impatient, frustrated. The addition of "all colors" intensifies those feelings. Example:
Todd: Why are you so late?
Me: Oh the line at the post office was insane. It looked like Calcutta in there.
Todd: Wow really?
Me: Yeah and you should have seen the guy in front of me. He was making buttons, all colors because the lady in front of him had about 17 packages to mail overseas.

14. Not for nothin', but:
Leave it to South Philadelphians to make terribly improper grammar seems like it's perfect. This is a commonly uttered phrase by us cynical, irritable people from South Philly. It's said usually as a segue to a statement of rationalization, (or sometimes immediately following for dramatic effect). I think a close equivalent would be "I don't mean to make an issue out of it, but" or "Not to sound rude, but" or "Not to seem ungrateful, but." Here are a couple examples:
Not for nothin', but I think I deserved that promotion instead of that asshole.
Not for nothin', but with all the money I spend at, I should get free shipping when I order from now on.

15. Louder that:
SO South Philly, it hurts. It means "to increase the volume" of something, like a TV or a radio. It is the direct counterpart to "lower that." I actually do not say this very often. Example:

Todd: Do you want me to put the TV on for you?
Me: Yeah, is Spongebob on?
Todd: Yes, here he is.
Me: Good. Louder that before you sit down.

16. Sweating bullets:
Probably pretty obvious. To sweat profusely. Example:
Turn that a/c on, I'm sweating bullets in here!

17. How cheap!:
I've heard other people from South Philly say this. It's not in reference to the price of anything. A close substitute would be "How embarrassing" or "How disgraceful" or "That's shameful." Example:
Grandmom: Guess who I saw today at the store with his secret mistress?
Mom: Oh no! You're not serious?
Grandmom: Yeah, and they were all over each other, too.
Mom: Oh, how cheap! In public, too!

18. Can:
This has been the standard was of saying "butt" in my family as long as I can remember. Example:
Go upstairs and clean your room! You've been sitting on your can all morning watching cartoons!

19. Pack your chiches
(pronounced chih-chizz): Here's another phrase that is entirely unique to my family. To this day, I don't know what "chiches" are or why it would be bad to "pack" them. Anyway, this phrase is a funny way to mildly threaten someone. Have you ever heard Jerry Seinfeld's "Cookie? I'll cookie you!" stand-up? It's very similar to that. Also, I think the "send you packing" phrase might be a close facsimile.
Mom: I think I am going to try some of the jarred pasta sauce. I mean, how bad can it be?
Grandmom: If you even try to serve me cavatelli with sauce from a jar, I'll pack your chiches.

20. Cat rocks:
This is a more-recent introduction into my family lexicon. In fact, I think my sister, Helene, got this thing started. Cat rocks = kitty litter. Period. It just sounds funnier and it's 2 fewer syllables. A dream come true for anyone native to South Philly. Example:
Let's go to the pet store. We need canned food, cat rocks, and a new scooper.

21. Yitika: (pronounced yih-t-KAH) I'm not entirely convinced that this isn't from some Italian dialect. But anyway, I grew up with yitika meaning "jump, tremble, shake," as in when you scare or surprise someone. Example:
Me: GAH. What are you doing down here in the dark?
Todd: I have a headache and it's cooler down here than upstairs.
Me: You made me yitika; I didn't expect to see you down here.

22. Asking for: I think this might be somewhat common in South Philly. Once again, it's the simplest, shortest way possible of expressing concern for a person who is not in present company. Does that make sense? It's a little bit stronger than saying, "tell so-and-so I said hi." It's more like saying you are, "wondering how a person was doing." Maybe the examples will help:
Todd: I need to call cousin Eric tonight.
Me: Ok, tell him I was asking for him.

Mom: I saw uncle Mike the other day!
Grandmom: Oh, really? How's he doing?
Mom: He's fine. He was asking for you.

The first few times I said this to Todd or in his presence he was like "Wait, what?" But now even he says it.

23. Jafar:
Ok. This is quite a long story. About 15 years ago, (the early 1990s) when I was still living at home, my family had a cat. Yes, A cat. Just one. He was a black & white tuxedo cat. Very smart. My dad got him from some guy where he worked. The cat's name was Ippon, which we did not give him. We were told by his previous owner that the name means "number one" (or something close to that) in Korean. Not sure how true that is. He got that name because he responded every time the referee would call out the winners of the boxing or judo or wrestling (I forget which) match during the '88 Olympics in Seoul.

Anyway, this is not getting us to Jafar.

So, recall in the early 1990s a little Disney flick called Aladdin. I think it came out in 1992.
There was a character in the movie named Jafar. Jafar was the bad guy. There is a scene towards the very end of the movie where Jafar magically turns himself into a snake. I think many of you will know what I am talking about.

I swear this is going somewhere. Well at one time, Ippon had a terrible hairball issue. And he was horking up hairballs and food all over the place for a few days straight. One evening, my mom, my little sister, and I were all in the living room and in comes Ippon. He gets in the middle of the room and just hacks up the biggest, nastiest hairball I had ever (and still HAVE ever) seen. My mom goes over and looks and says, "Oh my God, look how big and coiled up it is; just like that snake guy in that movie---what's he called? Jafar?" I think I laughed for about 3 days straight.

So now and forevermore, when a cat throws-up or hacks op a hairball, it is called a jafar. The act of them throwing up is called jafarring. Here are some examples.

Me: What's wrong now?
Todd: There are jafars all over the place upstairs!

as a verb in the past tense:
Todd: Aren't you ready to go yet?
Me: No, Sophie jafarred on our bedspread and I have to clean it up first.

I'm sure I'll have an addendum soon. Lordy, there is a lot of crazy stuff I say!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MY Lexicon -- Part One

A few months ago (actually, it was nearly a year ago) I posted about the Waters Lexicon. And then I posted an addendum to the Waters Lexicon. Now I think it's only fair that I poke fun at my own collection of bizarre local and family words and phrases that Todd is forced to hear on a regular basis.

I just realized that there are SO many things that I say that I'm going to have to do this in 2 parts: one "Italian" words/phrases and two being English words/phrases. Poor Todd.

As you all know by now, I am an Italian chick from South Philly. A lot of the things I say have been handed down to me from my parents and grandparents and are loosely based on some regional dialect (or bastardization) of Italian. My family has roots in both Naples and Abruzzi. And boy are there differences in the way Napoletanos pronounce words compared to Abbruzzese. Anyway, I will do my best to find the real word(s) in Italian for the things in my lexicon. However, I fear most of what you see will be odd, phonetic spellings of mostly made-up words.

Incidentally, I thought I'd add that my maiden name, Frese, means "end mill." LAME.


PART ONE: Words from Italian (I think). Also, a note about "pronunciation:" The pronunciations that I give for the words are how I grew up hearing them and learning how to repeat them. Try to roll your "r" wherever possible. Any real Italian-speaking persons who read this will probably be appalled and bleeding from the eyes and ears.

In no particular order:

1. Skeeve. ( know). The pen-ultimate word used by all Italians on the East coast. Actually, I think pretty much everyone, everywhere has seen, heard, or used this word by now. Derived (I think) from the Italian word "schifo," which means disgust.
v. To feel ill, uncomfortable, disgusted. "Grossed-out." For example: I cannot eat at that restaurant. I skeeve their dirty tables (often dirty AND picciagatti, see below).

(adj.) Example: I hate guys with skeevy, long fingernails.
Skeevatz (n. or adj.) A person or thing that is the complete embodiment of skeeve. Extremely skeevy or skeeve inducing.
Example as a noun: So my 4th grade teacher would pick her nose in front of the class, like a total skeevatz.
Example as an adjective: There is no way I am sitting THERE, after that sick kid with all his skeevatz germs just got up.

2. Mariouli (pronounced mah-ti-OOL). I think this is from Italian, but not sure if it's dialect (it probably is). Even though this is plural already (has an "i" on the end), if you are referring to more than one, then put an s on the end.
n. No-goods, swindlers, bad-egg types. Think Lando Calrissian. I call my cats mariouli. Example: Never trust an electrician, plumber, or a roofer. They are all marioulis.

3. Piag-culo (pronounced pee-ahn-gool). Derived from "piaga," and "culo." Piaga means "pain in the ass." Culo means "ass." So, technically, one would really only need to say "piaga." n. Pain in the ass. Example: Oh this student is driving me crazy! He's a total piag-culo!

4. Scumbati (pronounced scoom-bah-dee). I have no idea where this comes from. It was a word uttered nearly daily in my household by my mom and grandmom. My mom swears it's a word, but I can't find it anywhere.
v. To be embarrassed, put-out, inconvenienced, nervous, anxious, rushed, etc.; often all at the same time. Usually, a person who is a piag-culo will cause one to scumbati. Example: I hate it when Aunt Rose comes over. I have to scumbati to get the house ready for her. Another example: Why do you always make me scumbati when we go to the movies? Just find a seat and SIT DOWN.

5. Picciagatti (pronounced pitch-uh-GOD). Derived from the Italian word "appiccicoso," which means sticky.
adj. sticky and/or crusty. Example: Come here and let me wipe your face! It's all picciagatti after eating that cotton candy!

6. Fracassare (pronounced Frah-gahss-a-DEE). Fully conjugated version of "fracasso," which means hullabaloo.
n. A big to-do. Lots of fanfare; a big production, usually in the negative. Example: I didn't enjoy going to my nephew's Confirmation party. It was a whole lot of fracassare. Sometimes, this word was also truncated to just "frag."

7. La Fan (pronounced Lah-Fahn). Definitely dialect. This has become a favorite phrase of Todd's!
n. A state of being where you need fresh air or you feel hot, tired, and/or out of sorts. Example: Oh, I feel so la fan; can you open the window?

8. Ligiti (pronounced lih-jih-dee). Most likely from "li" and "giri," which means "the rounds."
v. To digest one's food. Example: I think I'll take a walk after dinner to help me ligiti.

9. Ciuccione (pronounced Chew-CHONE). Derived from the Italian "ciucino," which means "ass." Basically, if you put the "own" sound on the end of many words in Italian, you change it to mean BIG or extra.
n. Big ass, as in to be asinine; a big dumbass. Example: I waited 45 minutes for him; then he finally showed up like a big ciuccione, with no explanation. Not to be confused with culone (basically pronounced like cologne), which would actually be a big ass, as in a physically big butt. Example: I couldn't get a seat on the bus this morning. This woman with a culone the size of a sofa took up 3 seats.

10. Mamoccio (pronounced mah-MOACH). Again, I have no idea where this is from. It's a funny word to say.
n. A doll, puppet, toy, stuffed-animal. Usually slightly derogatory. Example: Put that mamoccio away; I don't want to play anymore.

11. Bancone (pronounced bahn-GOHN). I was shocked to find out that this actually is a real word. It means "lunch counter," or "counter with a wooden flat surface." We never used it as "lunch counter."
n. Sale rack or a clearance table of goods; often with a negative connotation. Example: You like this shirt? That's funny because I got it on a bancone for like $2.

12. Puttana (pronounced poo-TAHN). I think everyone knows this word by now.
n. Whore, slut. Example: You CANNOT wear that skirt. I didn't raise you to be a puttana!

13. Cazzo (pronounced CAHTZ). n. Shit, damn, fuck! Most commonly uttered as "che cazzo?" (pronounced kay-cahtz?) Basically meaning What the fuck? Also I've been known to say incazzato (pronounced in-caht-zahd), which essentially means "pissed off." My family also would say the phrase "Got them twisted." Example: Of course the cat bit you; you stepped on his paw and he got all incazzato!
I've also been heard to say
Cazzotille (pronounced kahtz-ah-DEAL) (also Junkatille) rather frequently, which is:
n. A little souvenir, or knick-knack; a "little something." Example: I picked up this magnet for you when I went to Niagara Falls. It's just a little cazzotille.

14. Imbottito (pronounced im-buh-TEED). Hey! Another real word! This one really means "overstuffed," as in upholstery. Our usage was close...
adj. Stuffed, or encrusted. Example: I need to use some nasal spray. My nose is all imbottito.

15. Macaragna (pronounced mah-gah-RAHN-yah). Ok. I THINK the first part of the word is from the Italian word "amaca," which means "hammock;" and also in Italian, "ragna" is a "spider." So...the "hammock of a spider," or:
n. cobwebs, spiderwebs, dust, dirt. Example: For Christ's sake, clean that lampshade; it's covered in macaragna! (Funny story: When the Macarena
song/dance came out, it spread like wildfire. My grandmom was watching TV one day and heard the song and said, "Che cazzo? They made a song about macaragna? PU."

16. Sporcaccione (pronounced spork-a-CHONE). Derived from the word "sporco," which means dirty or unclean. "Sporcaccione" can also mean disgusting. "Vecchio sporcaccione" means a dirty old man. (Again, notice the "own" sound at the end.)
n. A very messy, dirty, unclean person or thing. Example: Hey! Sporcaccione! Clean your room; it looks like a zazzeri (see below for zazzeri)!

17. Zazzeri (pronounced ZAT-zer-ee). Not sure what this is from. I have a feeling that this might have been a person's last name. A very commonly used word when I was a kid. Other words in this lexicon often used in conjunction with zazzeri: skeeve, picciagatti, magaragna.
n. a disaster area or pigsty. A messy, unkempt, unclean place. Example: I hate it when you go over her house to play. It's a zazzeri in there. I skeeve.

18. Stunare (pronounced stew-NOD) No clue. Also used regularly!
n. or adj. a person or state-of-being that is confused, muddled, forgetful. Also used to mean dizzy, off-balance, mentally foggy. Example: I'm so stunare that I forgot to turn the iron off again!

19. Sfacciato (pronuonced sfa-CHODD). In Italian, sfacciato means "cheeky, brazen, blatant, brash." I grew up with it meaning...
adj. Aloof, uncommunicative, stoic. Example: I don't know how to talk to him, he's so sfacciato all the time."

20. Moppine (pronounced mah-PEEN). A total dialect word. It's got to be some connection to mop. But I don't understand how or why.
n. Dishcloth, dishtowel, or cleaning rag. Example: Here, take this moppine and wipe the crumbs off the table.

21. Agita (pronounced AH-jih-da). Taken from the Italian, "
agitare," which means "to agitate." Great word. Said on a daily basis.
n. Hearburn, indigestion, acid-reflux, upset stomach. Basically any stomach or digestion problem. Example: Oh I shouldn't have eaten that 4th piece of pizza. Now I have the worst agita.

22. Americano
(pronounced mit-eh-GAHN). Used constantly. Todd is a total "Americano." Also? You really HAVE to pronounce this the way I indicated: mit-eh-GAHN. Really.
or adj. Basically anyone or anything non-Italian. Or something done in a non-Italian way. Example: UGH, only americanos drink milk with their dinner. Another example, this time as an adjective: MAYO ON A HOAGIE??? HOW AMERICANO!

23. Chiacchierone (pronounced kyah-kyah-RONE) Another real Italian word meaning "blow-hard, big talker, chatterbox, windbag, big mouth." And that's how we used it too.
Example: You're such a
chiacchierone; once you get starting talking, you never shut up.

24. Cattivo (pronounced kah-TEEVE) Italian for "bad, wicked, naughty." In my family, cattivo was often preceded by come (pronounced like "coma"), which means "how." I can still hear my grandmother now saying, "Come cattivo!" (How bad!) Probably about somebody's kid.
adj. Bad, nasty, naughty, ill-tempered, mean. Almost always in reference to a child. Example: Do not throw that food on the carpet again! Come cattivo you are!

Mannaggia (pronounced Mah-NAJ) Italian mild expression of frustration. There really is no direct translation for this. The closest thing would be "Darn!" or "Shoot!" or possibly "to Hell with it." I do recall my grandmother often saying, "Mannaggia il diavalo!" Which I think means something like, "Damn the devil!" But it's so great to just blurt out, "OH MAH-NAJ!" when you are angry and frustrated.

Ok soon to come: PART TWO!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Dishcloth Exchange Topic #1

So for this week's topic, make a post on your own blog sharing YOUR favorite pattern(s) with us! Don't have a favorite site? That's fine! Show us a photo of one of the cloths you have made and really loved, even if it was just a made up pattern!

Well, I absolutely love the Dishcloth Boutique. Some of my all-time favorite patterns for cloths are from that site. I love it that they are all free, too.

One of my all-time favorite patterns is the Lacy Mock Cable. Here's a picture of one that I made for my mom.

Also in that picture is another of my super favorite patterns, the Ball-Band. I knit that black & white one above for a Dishcloth Pal last year.

I love knitting bath mitts too. I think every Dishcloth Pal I had got a bath mitt as well as a cloth. Here are pictures of a couple I made. I got this pattern on the back of a label of Bernat Handicrafter yarn. I think you can get it free from their website:

The best thing is, this mitt comes out great no matter what yarn you use. The picture on the left is some funky Classic Elite "Sea" cotton. On the right, is yarn I got from in a linen/cotton blend.

Some other dishcloth patterns I am dying to try:

The Garter-lac dishcloth
The Optical Illusion dishcloth (I think this is SO COOL looking!)
The Lizard-Ridge dishcloth
The Wheatfields dishcloth
The Bobble Sheep dishcloth (how cute is this?)

I also want to try this dish scrubbie!

This was a great topic! :-)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Just Checkin' In

Happy June, everyone. I absolutely cannot really believe it's JUNE. Where is the year going?

So, I am all signed up and ready for the Summer Dishcloth Swap! I can't wait to get my match so I can get started knitting up the cloths! I am really looking forward to a departure from that blasted pinwheel sweater. Oh it's coming along well enough. I think. It's just that knitting a round of nearly 400 stitches, then purling a round of nearly 400 stitches (and you all KNOW how much I love purling) over and over again is starting to wear on my sanity.

Knitting a quick, cool, funky dishcloth is just what I need right about now. And, of course, a bath mitt is in order! I love knitting them. Fast and the end result looks fantastic.

I've also cast on a new pair of socks. These will end up being sort of tiger-striped. With all the cats in my house, I thought it was fitting. ;-)

Next weekend, Todd and I leave for Virginia for a week. It will be nice to get away. We'll be gone June 14-21. My sister Helene and her family will also be joining us. I can't wait to see them. I haven't seen them since March. I hear that Aubrey is walking now! She's only about 9 months old. They are so cute when they are that little. Let's hope I can get my camera battery situation figured out.

Which reminds me, I gotta call the cat-sitter....