Slovenia's been on my mind lately. I have a friend over there who feeds me tea and oranges that come all the way from Ljubljana. Also, my dad is dating a Slovenian gal who takes him polka dancing at the Slovenian Cultural Club in Painesville, Ohio. He's 87. I think she's younger - about 75 or so. She wears him out. But he keeps coming back for more.
DIFFICULT WOMEN performed in Estonia a few years ago, which is practically Slovenia (they both end with -ias). The Soviets had just recently departed and there were lots of little second-hand shops selling interesting things. I bought a Russian chess set, complete with hammers and sickles stamped all over the back. The shop keepers in this little back street stall were three tough looking black-market kind of guys. A tall one with scars and a full red beard kept looking at me as I handed over my money. After the deal was done, he smirked at me, 'I don't need no little pieces - I play you in head.' I should have beat him to death with a gargoyle but I just smiled.
Next week will be the Big Christmas Gallah Issue so get any last minute Christmas stories - jokes, pics, songs, Santa doing it with Ms Claus, a fat elf, a skanky reindeer, Frosty the Snowperson or whatever - to me soon, so I can thread them throughout. If you have been paying attention the past few years, you know the Christmas Issue is good value. This is your chance to contribute - to be naughty AND nice.
Speaking of naughty and nice, the lead picture this week is of the latest Carrera marble sculpture, by my friend, Peter Schipperheyn, and is twice life-size. (This is the kind of Digital Age I prefer. Have mercy!) Have a look at more of Peter's soul-satisfying work including the recent "Thus Spake Zarathustra" - a 4 metre tall sculpture in bronze. website
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 1
I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.
DIFFICULT WOMEN will be performing its last show for 2007 at The Artery, in Fitzroy, VIC, tomorrow night, Saturday Dec 15th. Tickets are only $15. Doors open at 7 with an 8 pm start. We are looking for a few more contestants for 'The Frida Kahlo Look-a-Like Contest,' segment - open to both men and women - so if you are interested in dressing up (for a free entry and crack at the marvelous Lin Van Hek fashion prizes. Trust me - Lin is overly generous with her prizes and if anyone has seen any of her silk and velvet clothing, this is your chance to get something quite awesome for free. How hard is it to connect your eyebrows and put a flower in your hair?) - BOOKING: email HERE or phone 0419 103484. Limited seating!! website
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 2
I need more money, more power, and less shit from stupid people like you.
FAVOURITE LETTERS OF THE WEEK
I am writing as a bit of a long shot. I am trying to get hold of a copy of your single 'Shaddap Your Face'.
I gave birth to my daughter 3 weeks ago and since she was born, the only song that we can get her to go to sleep to is Shaddap Your Face. I have searched the internet - but to no avail, I have not been able to find a copy of your single. Would you be able to let me know where I can get hold of a copy? Many thanks in advance, Helen P.
(Note: When all else fails, call on the Shaddap You Face Whisperer.)
Firstly - thank for your wonderful newsletters. Love the variety of info. and comment.
I met you at Illawarra Folk Club's Festival at Jamberoo some years ago and then again at their Festival at Bulli in 2006.(you bought copies of my book and CD). Made arrangements to meet you and Lin at the National in 2006 where we were all booked. Unfortunately, I got very ill and spent some months in hospital. After a long recuperation and the sudden loss of my husband a year ago, I am functioning again - still a bit tired, and a lot thick in the head but lucky to be alive.
I am not a singer, but was interested in the competition at Canberra 2006 based on "Shadda Up Your Face" (Not sure how to spell that - don't speak Italian) and wrote this to the tune:
"When I was a leetlegirl - my mama used to say
Keepa yourselfa nice, remember your mama's advice
Anda shut upa your legs.
Then I gotta married to a nice Italian boy
Wasa biga fata lady - gonna have a baby
Couldn't shut upa my legs
Now Ima getting old, my plumbing shesa not so good
When I go to town, I looka for toilets all around
Gotta keepa crossing mya legs.'
Performed it a few times (with appropriate actions) and got
Looking forward to catching up with you and Lin sometime, somewhere, out in that big, wide Folkie World. Wishing you both Happiness always In all ways Regards Vivienne Sawyer
(Note: This sounds like the sister piece to 'Open Your Legs, Sweet Sally,' from my Leadbelly Ballad-Novel. that I printed last week, Vivienne is one of my favourite performance poets and her spoken word variation of my song was sorely missed at my National Folk Festival event last year. I am so glad that she took the time to send it to me. I was damn curious at what she was intending to do. Vivienne will be at the Illawarra Folk Festival, in Bulli, NSW, with us in January 2008.)
Dear Mr. Dolce,
I was pleased to discover your webpage after searching without success to locate a CD version of an album I purchased for my children more than 20 years ago. The record is a Christmas Album with some touching and heartfelt ballads along with some very funny italian inspired songs that became a tradition for my children well into thier teens and college years. While getting the decorations ready and baking the cookies, my kids would cry out, "Did anyone find the Uncle Gino record?". Other selections I recall are "Dominic the Donkey" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas". This record may be titled, "Christmas in Australia"? Anyway, the record player is no longer on the shelf - CD's and IPODs abound, and the vinyl is badly scratched from years of loving use. My children are married with children of their own. (How did that happen?)...
I was loading some Christmas music on my IPOD today for my grandson Connor who is almost 20 months old. My daughter asked me if we could find a copy of your Christmas collection as a CD. I have had no success finding it. If there is any way to obtain a copy, I'm sure it would continue a wonderful tradition for another generation of my family. I really enjoyed reading your Vitae... your journey is fascinating. I live near Boston and my grandparents immigrated to this area from Sicily. I hope to hear from you.... Mary
(Note: The Uncle Gino Record? I am always amazed when people write me with stories about how much they love my out-of-print Christmas album. Personally, I have always considered it one of my seminal artistic and financial errors in judgement but I am reminded to 'shut up my face' when I hear how much the album has meant to others. There's no "Dominic the Donkey" track on it. There is a "Giuseppe the Donkey" however - he's the fool that made that record instead of buying the house down the street for $100K which is now selling for $800k (who knew????). I located a copy of the LP on eBay for Mary for about $50.00. I only have one copy myself and the master tape has vanished so it is truly a rarity. One of the best tracks, 'The Italian Twelve Days of Christmas,' arranged for solo voice and string quartet, appears on my double compilation CD and can also be heard on my Christmas website which I will give you the link for next week in my gallah Xmas issue.)
As you are most likely aware that I have been employed by Jesuit Social Services for almost 4 years and in that time have established the Gateway Kitchen Program, and more specifically Abbotsford Biscuits. To refresh you memories the program is designed to engage "socially excluded" individuals aged from 15 -28, generally speaking our clients present with drug, mental health and issues relating to chronically dysfunctional lifestyles. In the programs we work together in various activities this "socialising" leads to confidence building, new skills, and in time education, vocational training or employment. This is a long journey for many.
Currently the program is being appraised to consider if it could possibly sustain itself as a 'Social Enterprise", a small business that relies on some funding though operating from a Not-forprofit organisation. In November-December 2006 I was assisted by 6 participants to produce our range of biscuit's; we managed to sell 3,500 boxes. This year in order to reflect our ability to run to the required production projections that would enable us to operate as a "social enterprise" I must produce a minimum of 6,000 boxes. No easy feat given the size of the kitchen and the skills capacity of our participants, however this year there are 15 individuals in attendance. By achieving this goal the program will have a future.
So here is my request -
Would you oblige me by forwarding this message to friends,
family and associates who might consider purchasing a box or two
of Abbotsford Biscuits to give as a small gift (or to enjoy at
home) this Christmas. The boxes retail for $7.50, there is also
our delicious Rich Dark Chocolate Fudge and fruit cakes. Everything
is made on the premise under my watchful eye and in accordance
to my rather fussy standards, Chemical free-Free range eggs, export
quality butter, Couverture chocolate and an abundance of quality
Thanks for helping me by creating awareness, your thoughtfulness to do so is appreciate. Best wishes for a safe and fun filled Festive Season.
Jesuit Social Services
(Note: My daughter Brea and I did Loretta Sartori's baking workshop this year. She is a brilliant teacher and chef and her workshop improved my cake-making skills by about 500%. This is a worthy enterprise and deserving of support. Check out her website.)
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 3
I'm not rude, you're insignificant.
FAVOURITE YOUTUBE SHADDAP YOU FACE CLIP OF THE WEEK
Buttress O'Neal YouTube
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 4
A modest little person, with much to be modest about.
Beyond the Point of No Return
It's too late to stop climate change - so what do we do now?
by Ross Gelbspan
As the pace of global warming kicks into overdrive, the hollow optimism of climate activists, along with the desperate responses of some of the world's most prominent climate scientists, is preventing us from focusing on the survival requirements of the human enterprise.
The environmental establishment continues to peddle the notion that we can solve the climate problem.
We have failed to meet nature's deadline. In the next few years, this world will experience progressively more ominous and destabilizing changes. These will happen either incrementally - or in sudden, abrupt jumps.
Under either scenario, it seems inevitable that we will soon be confronted by water shortages, crop failures, increasing damages from extreme weather events, collapsing infrastructures, and, potentially, breakdowns in the democratic process itself.
Start with the climate activists, who are telling us only a partial truth. ARTICLE
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 5
He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
FAVOURITE PORN SPAM SUBJECT HEADING OF THE WEEK
Subject: Prepare your Love Wand for the Next Battle
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 6
I'm sorry, you seem to have mistaken me for someone who cares.
Big Oil Lets Sun Set on Renewables
Shell has quietly shed most of its solar power, while BP is buying into dirty tar sands
by Terry Macalister
Shell, the oil company that recently trumpeted its commitment to a low carbon future by signing a pre-Bali conference communique, has quietly sold off most of its solar business.
The move, taken with rival BP's decision last week to invest in the world's dirtiest oil production in Canada's tar sands, indicates that Big Oil might be giving up its flirtation with renewables and going back to its roots.
Shell and BP are among the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the world, but both have been keen to paint themselves green through a series of clean fuel initiatives.
BP, under its former chief executive, John Browne, promised to go 'beyond petroleum' while Shell has spent millions advertising its serious interest in the future of the environment.
But at a time when interest in solar power is greater than ever, with the world's first 'solar city' being built at Phoenix, Arizona, a small announcement from Environ Energy Global of Singapore revealed that it had bought Shell's photovoltaic operations in India and Sri Lanka, with more than 260 staff and 28 offices, for an undisclosed sum. ARTICLE
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 7
I'm busy. Can I ignore you some other time?
Ancient Italian Aborrioriginal Game
'Murra' (aka Morra) is the name for the manic Italian hand
game that my great-grandfather used to play with his mates out
in the back shed. It has to be seen to be believed. I noticed
that the word 'murra' is also part of the aboriginal word for
redback spider (Murra-ngura), Family: Theridiidae, Genus: Latrodectus,
That makes sense to me. I'm sure back in the Dreamtime, ancient aboriginal Australians named the spider after watching some fellow ancient Aboriginal Italians (known as Aborrioriginals) play this game: YouTube
(Thanks to Frank Dolce)
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 8
I find a few people annoying, and you are all of them.
How to Opera Germanly
1) The director is the most important personality involved
production. His vision must supercede the needs of the composer, librettist, singers and especially the audience, those overfed fools who want to be entertained and moved.
2) The second most important personality is the set designer.
3) Comedy is verboten, except when unintentional. Wit is for TV watching idiots.
4) Great acting is hyperintensity, with much rolling on the ground, groping the wall and sitting on a bare floor.
5) The audience's attention must be on anything except the person who is singing. A solo aria, outmoded even in the last century, must be accompanied by extraneous characters expressing their angst in trivial ways near, on or about the person singing the aria.
6) Storytelling is anathema to the modern director, like realistic photographic painting is to the abstract painter. Don t tell the story, COMMENT on it! Even better, UNDERMINE IT!
7) When singing high notes, the singer must be crumpled over, lying down or facing the back of the stage.
8) The music must stop once in a while for intense, obscure miming.
9) Sexual scenes must be charmless and aggressive. Rolling on the floor a must here.
10) Unmotivated homosexual behavior must be introduced a few times during the evening.
11) Happy endings are intellectually bankrupt. Play the opposite. Insert a sudden murder if at all possible.
12) Avoid entertaining the audience at all costs. If they boo, you have succeeded.
13) Rehearse it until it's dead. Very important.
14) Any suggestion of the beauty and mystery of nature must be avoided at all costs! The set must be trivial, contemporary and decrepit! Don t forget the fluorescent lights! (Klieg lights also acceptable.)
15) The audience must not know when to applaud or when the scene/act ends.
16) Historical atrocities such as the Holocaust or the AIDS epidemic must be incorporated and exploited as much as possible. Also the lifestyle of the audience must be mocked.
17) Colors are culinary. Black, white and gray only!
18) The chorus must be bald, sexless, faceless and in trench coats.
19) If the audience is bored, this is art.
20) Props are items of junk piled in a corner of the set. They must be overused pointlessly, then dropped on the floor, hopefully when the music is soft. Be careful to keep dangerous objects at the lip of the stage so the blindfolded dancers can kick them into the pit.
21) All asides must be sung next to the person who is not supposed to hear them.
22) The leading performers faces must be painted as a white mask to ensure no individuality or variety of expressions, as opera singers cant act anyway. They just want to pose and make pretty sounds.
23) Preparation is important. Try to read the libretto in advance to make sure it doesnt interfere with your staging ideas. Not much harm in listening to the CD once, though that s not really your job.
24) Make the conductor feel useful, though he is really a literal minded hack.
25) The stage director must avoid any idea that is not his own, though that idea will surely be on this list already.
26) A costume must serve at least two of the following criteria:
a) Make the singer look unattractive
b) Obscure his vision
c) Make hearing the orchestra difficult
d) Impede movement
d) Contradict the period in which the opera is set (hardly worth mentioning)
(thanks to WaylandN)
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 9
Please deprive me of your company.
Face - Visually Interpreted on YouTube:
(thanks to Frank Dolce)
THE FINAL HURRAH
Ten Alternate Ways of Saying 'Shaddap You Face' No. 10
Humans only use about 1/10 of their brain power. With you, it could be less.