Good morning. For all of us, who either profess the Jewish faith or have dear relatives and friends who do, today is the Holiest Day of the year: the Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. Right now millions of Jews have congregated in the synagogues (or wherever they can) since yesterday evening to renew their bond with God Almighty by praying and fasting together all day long.
In the above picture, you can see our son Gian Luca ready to pray in the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) of Jerusalem, when he visited Israel thanks to the Birthright Israel Program.
“The public is always right, even when it is wrong” Jean Paul Belmondo.
On September 6, 2021, Jean-Paul Belmondo passed away at 88 years old surrounded by his loved ones, in his home in Saint Germain des Prés. in the outskirts of Paris, France. He was a gifted actor that played in almost 80 films and delighted us with his unabashed and swaggering smile; in the past few years he kept a low profile after having had a Cerebrovascular accident in the year 2001.
The son of a famous sculptor and a theatre actress, initially he practiced a lot of sports, like football and boxing; in a fight he got a big blow to this nose that he never got fixed. His visual trademark.
When he was a young aspiring actor in Drama School, he was curtly told by an instructor that he was too ugly to look at and that, lacking theatre skills, he would never become a serious actor. Doing morning exercises, he was spotted in a park in Saint Germain des Prés by the film director Jean-Luc Godard who offered him a screening test for his upcoming film, His first role in Godard’s A bout de Souffle, was the official launch of what would later be known as the Nouvelle Vague. In fact Gian Luca, our filmmaker son, plastered our writing space with film posters and to our right, we displayed the one of that great film, source of inspiration of our writings. Here is a screenshot of it.
Belmondo had the spontaneous attitude of a cool guy in front of the camera, which rendered him credible. He had two separate film careers: the art cinema and the commercial venues. He was well known in the 70s and 80s for starring in farcical versions of the super-hero saga, which made us gasp with his amazing acrobatic stunts as he insisted on doing them himself. A famous scene shows him laboriously walking, with extended legs, without any security measures, on the roof of a racing Paris commuter train at 70 km/hour. It was his body standing there, without any stunt help or editing. We also laughed with his politically incorrect impertinent jokes ready to shoot at the sleeve (even women did) One of the very best was Le Magnifique, co-starred with the gorgeous Jacqueline Bisset.
We were, and still are, moved by Le Professionnel, a rather mediocre movie that has the rapturous musical score of Ennio Morricone and the participation of a very young and slim Gerard Dépardieu. In fact, at his funeral in Les Invalides, they used the melancholic notes of Chi mai to honour him.
The 20 Heures newscast of France 2 had a special program that day where many of his colleagues and friends remembered him. One of the most affected by his passing was Alain Delon, who had been the “nominal competitor” in the screen but actually a very good friend outside it; they both starred in Borsalino, one of the most tender, fun movies about the Mafia. It was done with allure.
One of his longstanding friends (sorry but we cannot remember his name) narrated how he had accompanied him to a posh Rehabilitation Center to cure the motor and verbal ACV sequelae. Looking at the garden from his suite balcony, they say many disabled patients being aided by nurses to do their exercises, walk around, being wheeled around, etc. Initially Belmondo told him that he should take him back right away to his home because he would die of anguish in there. He calmed him and convinced him to give it a try. He did. And with so much enthusiasm that the actor was an enthusiastic cheerleader that supported and cheered the progress of other patients.
Belmondo slowly recovered his speech capabilities and was able to walk only with the aid of a cane. He received many honors, including an Honorary César statuette for his acting career in 2017. In these times of generalized human despair, we need more than ever his exemplary love of Dear Life.
On September 9, 2021, all the French authorities, including Président Macron, honored Belmondo with a funeral in the Cour des Invalides, the big esplanade for the fallen French soldiers and sailors; in an adjacent buildings lie the mortal remains of Napoléon Bonaparte , another French treasure.
Countless times you made us dream with your performances that flew us off away, far from routine.
Good morning to you. In this era of digitalized information sources for millions of citizens, a cliché gets transmitted through multiple platforms, without checking the veracity of its content or source. While we are preparing our first podcast ( we had some trial runs with audio of previous blogs) we heard again a false attribution of the following sentence (very catch indeed) to Benito Mussolini.
“É meglio vivere un giorno da leone che cent’anni da pecora”
(Better to live a day like a lion than a hundred years like a sheep)
Dear Jessica, that was not invented by Il Duce, who had a very limited mindset, like all fascists. It was a graffitti painted with bleach on a crumbled countryside wall by an anonymous Italian soldier, after the Battle of the Piave, where our dear ancestors fought and defeated the Austrian Army in 1918. This misattribution was also pronounced by a former American President in many of his rallies.
In our new book Emotional Frustration – the Hushed Plaguewe discuss these dangerous foibles. Once someone in the global media utters a false message, it might be immediately picked up by other outlets, without ever checking it up, and gets repeated by an never-ending lineup of parrots.
In our novel Madame D.C. – Three Voyages, we pay special attention to that battle because one of the important secondary character, an eel-man, helps the Austrian dragoons cross the River. In fair exchange for being saved from drowning, they must stay camping at the shores of the Piave River and ready to help any person in distress there; only then can they cross into “the other world.”
We believe that almost ever since we had a full working Conscience (and a totallytroublemaking Subconscious before that) we have wanted to become both a physician and a writer. It seems that reading the complete works of Anton Chéjov, a great healer and narrator of human nature, might have had a decisive influence. When I was a teenager, I submitted a short story (with the help of my father Mario who did the editing and typing) to a literary contest with the nickname of Gringalet.
A humongous amount of talking waters passed under the bridge of my Life until August 22, 2003, when, during a vacation with my children in our mother Gladys’s home in Montevideo, Uruguay, I decided that it was time to start writing. I sat in her living room and using a notepad that I still keep, I wrote the first two pages of my novel Madame D.C. – Three Voyages, which is parked in Kindle. When I told my grandmother Yolanda about it, she responded: “Congratulations, but how about finishing your thesis first, dear?” She was totally right. I suspended my novel writing and tackled my Columbia University Doctoral Dissertation in earnest.
After I finished my studies in May 2008, I was mentally exhausted and decided to “take it easy” for a few months by reading a lot and writing nothing. In that vein , we showed up sometime in June 2009 with my children Noël Marie and Gian Luca (after a delicious dinner in the closed Van Dyke resto in Lincoln Road) in the Books and Books shop a few blocks away, before going to Regal Cinema later. As my children roamed around, I pushed one of the chairs they had in their little café against the counter to enjoy the view. I did it so maladroitly (we, men, are so silly) that a display of little books of several colors came tumbling down on my back; the attendant girl at the time (I cannot remember her name) graciously assured me that everything was fine and started picking them up.
-“What are those?” I curiously asked.
-“Oh, these are Moleskine, the writers’ notebooks,” she said , handing me one.
-“Really, I knew they existed,” I said, examining the black one she gave me. “Gimme this one…It might bring me luck.”
I put the little book in my jacket and did not think much of it until I traveled to SanFrancisco the following Monday for an extended medical course on Acupuncture. I arrived in a late evening flight.
Being my first trip to California, and Frisco in particular, I did not have the slightest idea how cold it could be at night, like Mark Twain had wisely warned us. After I arrived at the San Remo Hotel, I quickly laid my baggage in the room and headed to the only open resto around , a Burger King joint. Having only a Columbia sweatshirt and a leather jacket on my body, I froze in contact with the cold air. I picked up a whopper with fries and retreated to the safety of my hotel room. When I tried to go to bed, I realized that there was only an inadequately slim blanket at hand.
Right before midnight I briskly walked to the small quaint front desk . I stopped in my tracks. What I saw then would be just unthinkable in our Banana Republic of South Florida. A gorgeous young girl, with the smart looks of a graduate student of Psychology, was reading The Grapes of Wrath from John Steinbeck. Wow!
Of all the sleepy hotels in all the towns in all the world, she had to work in this one.
Mumbling my request, I saw her skedaddle to a back room; in the meantime, I picked up the book to double check that I was not under the influence of a mirage. I cannot even remember how many times I had tried to read it, without going much further than page 20, I believe. And there she was, plowing through the middle of it. I ran away to my room and, feeling totally excited, I picked up the Moleskine. Right there I started writing the outline of my novel Madame D.C. -Three Voyages.
Two clairvoyant ladies, without much knowledge of myself, shamed me into action.
Coup de chapeau for all the fabulous ladies that daily kick our butts to elicit results.
What would become of us, silly-lazy men, if we did not have that feminine custody?
Bon jour. La première réaction après la publication du Emotional Frustration – the hushed plague est arrivée , parmi les possibles dizaines, d’une chère lectrice parisienne dont nous voudrions garder la vraie identité. Elle nous a écrit le suivant:
“J’adore ton bouquin. Finallement quelqu’un ose raconter le vraie désir des femmes d’auhourdhui. J’ai commencé à le lire lundi matin et comme j’étais tellement accrochée j’ai loupée mon bouleau. Après j’ai inventée une excuse que j’avais un peu de fièvre pour mon boss…Si, je l’avais, mais de lire tes examples de notre souffrance quotidienne dans cette dingue de société….Putain! Il faut changer.
Comment est-ce que tu connais tellement la vie intérieure des nanas? Ne réponds pas, enfoirée!!!
T’es le bourreau impitoyable des pauvres cœurs désespérés. J’aime ton livre, mais je t’hais.”
Bourreau, moi? Pour quoi est-ce-qu’elle est arrivée à cette conclusion si radicalle de notre esprit?
S’il vous plait, aidez-moi. Lisez le livre et dites-moi votre sincère opinion….J’attends vos réponses.
Restez distants. Restez à l’abri. Restez en sécurité.
Buenos días. Ayer festejamos el Dia de la Independencia en la República Oriental del Uruguay, celebrando el 25 de Agosto de 1825 cuando en el Conngreso de la Florida los representantes de los cabildos de la Provincia Oriental se reunieron para discutir la independencia del Brasil y adherirse a las Provincias Unidas del Río de La Plata. Saludos a todos y todas nuestro(a)s compatriotas!
Siempre estaremos orgullosos de haber nacido y sido criado en ese paisito tan único y ejemplar que sigue evolucionando en forma cívica y demócratica entre dos países con abrumante corrupción. Sabían que ahora Uruguay esta tercero en el ranking de países con mas porcentaje de vacunados? Primero está Israel con 70%, despúes Chile con 68%, y luego Uruguay con el 65%. Que les parece?
The official date of publication is August 16, two days after our dearest Father Mario‘s birthday. As our family’s pioneering intellect that endowed us with artistic skills, we must first thank him for it.
Muchas gracias Papá!
We must also recognize the excellent team of Outskirts Press for patiently, diligently helping us.
It seems that the gnochiattawe prepared the day before yesterday brought us good luck indeed.
Never underestimate the effectiveness of powers that have not fully revealed themselves just yet.
Good morning. We are waiting for the publication of Emotional Frustration- the hushed plague any moment now and that beautiful anxiety prodded us yesterday to prepare a good omen dish. What better choice for us, Italian Americans, than a dish of gnocchi with a sauce of meatballs?
As you already know from our previous article, the tradition of eating gnocchi on the 29th of each month is a millenary endeavor that had been transferred to all the Italian citizens living abroad. We follow it so our families can enjoy good health, full employment and happiness to be all together.
Will this work for our book’s publication too? We do not know. What we do know is that this dish was delicious and we ate it with our son Gian Luca last night to celebrate. Buon appetito! Auguri!
Stay tuned for the upcoming news about the book’s publication.