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On My Nighstand/In My DVD Player

January 3rd, 2010

002On My Nightstand

Brava Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. Regular readers  know I am reading this and what a huge fan I am of this author.

How to Have Style by Isaac Mizrahi. I actually cranked through this the first day I got it. Great ideas.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. This has been recommended and mentioned so many times in my world, including by a published author friend of mine I respect, that I feel like I must read it. I think the final straw was reading it was one of the best books of the year on NPR’s website.

The Believers by Zoe Heller. I could be wrong, but I think this was also on a year-end best books list. Maybe NPR again.

Can you see or feel my joy around the world that I have a stack of good books to read again? I was starting to get depressed about it and then Wham-O, my library list came through. I always have about 10 books I am waiting for and this week, three came through!

In my DVD Player

I’m sure all the regular readers are sick of hearing this, but I am still cranking through the Battlestar Galactica series and get sooo, soo happy everytime a new disc from Netflix comes in the mail. Ah, the simple pleasures in life in the frigid midwestern winters!

And seriously, I don’t care how poor I get, I will NEVER give up my $14 a month subscription to Netflix, it SAVES my life during the winter.

This week we watched on instant play: Food Inc. which makes me want to go buy my own cow and chickens and keep them in my backyard and Blindness, based on a book I gave away after only reading two chapters. Now I wish I would have read the book, because I really liked the movie!

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  1. January 3rd, 2010 at 11:56 | #1

    K, I watched Food, Inc. last weekend on Netflix instant download. I swear I will never buy Perdue or Tyson chicken again ever, ever in my life. And don’t get me started on the beef . . .

  2. January 4th, 2010 at 10:44 | #2

    Netflix is amazing!!! That combined with the library DVD checkout is what saved me from deteriorating in the depths of despair during my confinement to home last Spring…new city, no friends, no job, no money…but I have Netflix! Yeah!

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.