JUNE 25, 2003

Everything that Counts

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
(Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)

Hi Folks,

My partner, Lin, and I celebrated our anniversary over the weekend. "23 years of unwedded bliss, ' as she put it. (Is bliss the root word of blister, I wonder?) We went away to a place, before television, and read books. For those of you to young to remember, books were an early prototype for the motion picture. They still work fine as a substitute, though, if you don't mind the lack of buzzing noises.
I've enclosed an excerpt from a wonderful book I'm just reading, 'Bruculinu, America: Remembrances of Sicilian-American Brooklyn, Told in Stories and Recipes,' by Vincent Schiavelli, which I liked so much I typed it up and put a link to it for those who might like checking it out - it's a moving excerpt so be prepared. I've also added one of the dishes from the book, Sosizza chi Patati, that I made last week and can personally attest to. You may recall the bacalla recipe I passed along last week? Schiavelli gives his own family formula in the book, for this dish, plus these insights:
" Bacccalaru is dried in two forms, one slightly softer and moister than the other. Both, however, are remarkably stiff, resembling a petrified fish fillet. The word baccalaru is also a vulgar Sicilian name for a part of the male anatomy in a particular state. "Stop standin' der like a baccalaru!" or "Dat guy was a real baccalaru!" were common phrases of derision. Baccalaru never entered our house without one of the women giggling a reference to this theme. "

I knew there was I reason I LOVED this dish!

When people ask me to remove them from my newsletter, usually they just put DELETE in the subject box. One of my favourite removal requests came last week. It simply said: SHADDAP YOU EMAIL. So I'm adding that to the 'official' ways people can request removal.

There is a good dose of funny stuff this week. And tears - the Aunt Mary and Uncle John story. There are also the details of some performances and benefit concerts coming up.

May the Cronu grant you protection from Malucchiu and the Maladittu,



Kavisha Mazzella and Friends Benefit night
When: 5th July, 9.30 PM onwards
Where: Ruckers, 250 HIGH ST, Northcote, VIC.
Further Details: PHONE 94821333
100 seats only! Book early to avoid disappointment.
Chartbusting '80s, with Josie Parrelli, on Channel 31
Interview and live in studio performance of one of my newest songs, 'Familiar Ring' (acoustic) and that ol' chestnut 'Shaddap You Face' - but, this time, with band and sung in the Aboriginal dialect of Indjubungi. (Thanks to friend, songwriter, dancer and performer, Granayrarrahe Inmurray Waitaire for the translation.)
When: -- Saturday July 5th, 8:30pm
Where: - Channel 31, Melbourne - UHF.

The Troubadour's 25th Birthday Concert Weekend
One of the first venues I ever performed at in Australia on a regular basis was the original Troubadour, in Bowen Crescent, back in the late '70s. Andrew Pattison has asked me to resurrect my original 3 character one-man show (the one that gave birth to the 'big-a hit') for this weekend celebration. My performance will probably be on Friday night and I will also appear on Andrew's radio show the following Saturday morning. More details down the track.
When: 22nd-24th August
Where: Campaspe Downs Country Resort, Kyneton.

Performers include: The Sensitive New Age Cowpersons   ~   Kristina Olsen   ~   Judy Small   ~   Glenn Cardier   ~   Al Ward & Dan Johnson   ~   Rose Bygrave   ~   The Joe Dolce Music Theatre   ~   Martin Pearson   ~   Doug Ashdown   ~   Rick E Vengeance   ~   Dr.Foster's Bluegrass Band   ~   Greg Hildebrand & Greg O'leary   ~   Greg Champion   ~   Ross Ryan   ~   Brent Parlane   ~   Yasmin & The Tealeaves, and awaiting confirmation from: Shane Howard   ~   Mike McClellan   ~   Paul Wookey   ~   John Crowle   ~   Di McNicol   ~   Paul O'Gorman
Contact for Bookings or Further Details: Andrew (03) 5433 5292


" After laughter, all the muscles are relaxed, including the heart - the pulse rate and blood pressure temporarily decline - muscle relaxation and anxiety cannot exist together, and the relaxation response after a good laugh has measured as lasting forty-five minutes." Dr Bernie Siegel, Libretto of Movement 10, from 'And Let The Wonder In' - 14 Variations on a Musical Theme by ani difranco - for SATB choir and mixed instruments, 1998, Joe Dolce, Dolceamore Music.

Funny Bits

Three Irish men

Three Irishmen and three Englishmen are traveling by train to a football
match in London. At the station, the three English each buy a ticket and
watch as the three Irish buy just one ticket between them.
"How are the three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asks one of
the English.

"Watch and learn," answers one of the Irish.

They all board the train. The English take their respective seats but all
three Irish cram into a toilet and close the door behind them. Shortly
after the train has departed, the conductor arrives to collect the tickets.
He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket please." The door opens just
a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes
it and moves on.

The English are mightily impressed by this, so after the game, they decide
to copy the Irish (like always!) on the return trip and save some money.
When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return
trip...To their astonishment, the Irish don't buy a ticket at all !!

"How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asks one perplexed

"Watch and learn..." says one Paddy.

When they board the train the three Irish cram into a toilet and soon after
the three English pile into another nearby. The train departs. Shortly
afterwards, one of the Irish leaves the toilet and sneaks across to the
toilet where the English are hiding. He knocks on the door and says,
"Ticket please..."

A Lawyer, a Rabbi, and a Hindu

A lawyer and two friends--a Rabbi, and a Hindu holy man--had car trouble in
the countryside and asked to spend the night with a farmer.

The farmer said, "There might be a problem. You see, I only have room for
two to sleep in the house. So one of you must sleep in the barn."

"No problem," chimed the Rabbi. "My people wandered in the desert for forty
years. I am humble enough to sleep in the barn for one evening." With that
he departed to the barn, and the others bedded down for the night.

Moments later a knock was heard at the door; the farmer opened the door.
There stood the Rabbi from the barn. "What's wrong?" asked the farmer. He
replied, "I am grateful to you, but I just can't sleep in the barn. There
is a pig in the barn, and my faith believes that is an unclean animal."

His Hindu friend agrees to swap places with him. But a few minutes later
the same scene reoccurs. There is a knock on the door. "What's wrong?" the
farmer asks. The Hindu holy man replies, "I, too, am grateful for your
helping us out, but there is a cow in the barn. In my country cows are
considered sacred and I can't sleep on holy ground!"

That left only the lawyer to make the change. He grumbled and complained,
but went out to the barn. Moments later there was another knock on the
farmer's door. Frustrated and tired, the farmer opens the door, and there
stood the pig and the cow.
( Thanks to Maireid Sullivan for these jokes)

Learn To Speak Chinese In 5 Minutes

1) That's not right ............................ ......... Sum Ting Wong
2) Are you harboring a fugitive?............... Hu Yu Hai Ding
3) See me ASAP......................................... Kum Hia Nao
4) Stupid Man ............................................. Dum Fuk
5) Small Horse .......................................... Tai Ni Po Ni
6) Did you go to the beach? .................... Wai Yu So Tan
7) I bumped into a coffee table .............. Ai Bang Mai Fa Kin Ni
8) I think you need a face lift ................... Chin Tu Fat
9) It's very dark in here .............................. Wao So Dim
10) I thought you were on a diet ............. Wai Yu Mun Ching
11) This is a tow away zone .................... No Pah King
12) Meeting scheduled for next week ... Wai Yu Kum Nao
13) Staying out of sight ............................. Lie Ying Lo
14) He's cleaning his automobile ........... Wa Shing Ka
15) Your body odor is offensive ............... Yu Stin Ki Pu
16) Great......................................................Fa Kin Su Pah
( Thanks to Frank Dolce for these .)

" MANILA - A 25- year old man was stabbed to death in the Philippines for singing a Frank Sinatra classic out of tune during a birthday party. The victim was asked to sing Sinatra's MY WAY during the party. Witnesses told police that the suspect, 48, a neighbour of the victim, was annoyed because the man was singing out of tune and stabbed him in the neck."

(Ed note. - Sounds like something a few Melbourne music critics might like to do to me.)


'Bruculinu, America:
Remembrances of Sicilian-American Brooklyn, Told in Stories and Recipes,
by Vincent Schiavelli

"The young woman speaks: 'Will my mouth always be like this?' she asks. 'Yes,' I say, 'It will because the nerve was cut.' She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. 'I like it,' he says. 'It's kind of cute.' All at once, I know who he is. I understand, and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth, and I, so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accomodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works. I remember that the gods appeared in ancient Greece as mortals, and I hold my breath and let the wonder in." Dr Richard Selzer, Libretto of Movement 13, 'And Let The Wonder In,' op.cit.

I'm reading two very different books at the moment, but they are complimentary to each other. The above mentioned title, and also, 'Mafia Wife', by Lynda Milito. She was married for 24 years, to Louie Milito, a high-ranking member of one of the largest mafia families in New York City. He disappeared in 1988, and his body was never found. It is one of the rare written accounts of life in organised crime, from the woman's point of view. (Book and film buffs might also be interested to know that the 'voice' - so to speak - and character attributes of Don Corleone, in Mario Puzo's book, The Godfather, were drawn from Puzo's memories . . . of his mother! His very first novel, 'A Fortunate Pilgrim,' tells her story.

But back to 'Bruculinu'. Author Vincent Schiavelli is a well known character actor who you might remember from 'Ghost' - (he was the tall angry dead person on the subway that showed Patrick Swayze's character how to move things around in the living world.) He's appeared in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'Amadeus', and many other classic films, and is quite an evocative storyteller himself with a tremendous sense of honesty, humour and eye for the memorable dramas of his childhood. He's also, obviously, a brilliant cook 'cause you can't write a book like this unless you can do it! Here's how his Aunt and Uncle met:

Aunt Mary and Uncle John
" In Bruculinu, love stories often surpassed Hollywood's best tearjerkers, with more interesting plots, livelier characters, and real credibility. One of the greater romances was the one between my grandmother Carolina's brother, Uncle John, and his spouse, Aunt Mary. . ."(more)

(Thanks to Arnold Zable for recommending this book to me!)

Sosizza chi Patati (Sausage and Potatoes)
8 Serves

2 lbs potatoes, 3 Bell peppers (mixed colours), 1 onion, 2 lbs Italian sausage (in coil, rather than links - ask butcher), 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 1/2 cups dry red wine, 1/2 teasp fresh oregano (chopped).
Preheat oven to 450 F. Peel potatoes, cut into strips 3 x 1/2 inch. Put in bowl with cold water. Seed peppers. Cut into 2 x 1 inch strips. Peel and finely slice onions, and separate into rings. Arrange sausage in a coil in the centre of a roasting pan, Drain potatoes and place on either side of sausage. Arrange peppers and onions on top of the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables. Season w/ salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes uncovered. Pour wine over sausage and vegetables. Turn vegetable once. Roast for a further 20-30 minutes until done. Sprinkle oregano over and serve. Good with green salad and fresh bread, for the juices.
Penne chi Malucciu
I just tossed this together last night with bits and pieces but it came out great so why not name it something thematic?

250 grams Penne (or spaghetti, if that's all you have.)
grated parmesan
toasted fine bread crumbs
1 tblespoon salted capers
1 anchovy fillet (vegetarians can omit this - redneck fisherme n can substitute free-range dolphin.)
12 Ligurian or Kalamatta olives, pitted and chopped
half fresh tomato
half green pepper (capsicum), sliced
1 fresh green or red chilli, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil and parsley, chiffonaded (chopped finely)
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil

Method: Boil a large pot of water - at least 3 litres. The pasta has to breathe!
In a large frying pan, over medium heat, place the olive oil and the anchovy fillet. Mash the anchovy into the oil with the back of a spoon until dissolved. Add green pepper and chilli and cook for one minute. Add garlic, tomato, olives, and capers, and remove from heat and stir well. (Don't let the garlic burn or the tomatoes overcook. You can return the pan to the heat when the pasta is almost ready.) Cook the penne al dente (for older people, al dentures.) When pasta is almost ready to drain, put the other pan back on the heat. Drain the pasta and immediately put it into the other pan. Toss the pasta well.
Place a generous serve of Penne on each place and dress with grated parmesan, toasted bread crumbs and chiffonaded parsley and basil. Serves 2.


The Bridge to Algeria Benefit Concert (Melbourne)
" When you stand at someone's side, nourishment may be provided that can carry that person forward for a week or two. During that time, anything can happen." Norman Cousins, Libretto of Movement 12, 'And Let The Wonder In,' op.cit.

On the 21st of May, 2003, Algeria was struck by a disastrous earthquake. The number of dead and injured is counted by the thousands. The Friends of Algeria are appealing to all people to come along - bring your friends and neighbours to share with us this party and remember those who survived. The money collected will be channelled directly to a hospital in Algiers. The night will be animated by diverse artists. Music: Aoud - Boudjemaa, Acoustic guitar ­ Glen Macari & Jonathon Leonard, Persian Flute - Khosro, and Hip-hop: David Gonzales. Many Surprises.
Food and drinks will be available. Admission fee: $10.00.
When: 4 July 2003, 6.30 pm,
Where: Sidetrack Studio Theatre, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville. Marrickville is located between New Town and Stanmore.
For further information/media please call: Angel on 0416268897 or Khalef on 02 95502319 from 7 pm to 11 pm.



" Sometimes the more measurable drives out the more important. "
Rene Dubois Libretto of Movement 3 , 'And Let The Wonder In,' op.cit.

This is a copy of an actual letter sent to Ryan DeVries, from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan. Wait till you read this guy's response - but read the entire letter before you get to the response.

Mr. Ryan DeVries
2088 Dagget
Pierson, MI 49339
SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Site Location: Montcalm County

Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued.
Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated. The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2002.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.
We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.
Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.


David L. Price District Representative
Land and Water Management Division


Dear Mr. Price,

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County

Your certified letter dated 12/17/2001 has been referred to me to respond to.
First of all, Mr. Ryan De Vries is not the legal landowner and/or contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan. I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natural building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. My first dam question to you is (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or (2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams,of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.
I have several concerns. My first concern is - aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation - so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names. If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition - please contact the beavers - but if you are going to arrest them they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams). So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2002 The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then, and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears. Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!)
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office via another government organization - the dam USPS. Maybe, someday, it will get there.


Stephen L. Tvedten
The University of Texas
Austin Office Community Relations/Accounting Unit
P.O. Box 7367
Austin, TX 78713
(Thanks to Bakki.)

Someone has suggested that I archive these weekly newsletters and the recipes so I will try to have that in place by next week.