Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Not rich, Not famous
Today I met with the student who wanted to meet with me before she would agree to a single English class. She cancelled three times prior to now, the last of which was fine with me because I had a sore throat anyway. Twice she had her daughter write emails to me in English and on the phone with me, although we were speaking in Italian, she was a nervous wreck. It seems her daughter who is about to give birth in two weeks is moving to Pennsylvania with her 22 month old and her husband who just got a job there. She hasn't taken English lessons since high school. Not wanting to be stood up again in a bar somewhere, I invited her over to the house. She didn't eat the chocolate muffins F made, but asked for them to be packed up to take home with her. She let me know during her time drinking coffee with me that she was planning on cancelling frequently. For now we have a plan to speak on the phone tomorrow so that she can decide whether she will come at one of two different time slots I have available, if at all. This is a crappy way to extract 20 euros off someone, but it was made much worse by her offensive comments about Russian people that she just threw in for good measure as she was leaving.

Right now I am sitting by myself, waiting for my other student who is 24 minutes late and has probably forgotten again that she had a commitment. Yep, sure enough. This is the suckiest part about not having a real job. On the other hand, if you don't like money at all, it has it's advantages.

The funniest thing that happened this week was at the paint company where my students have all been pronouncing the word enamel as animal for years. I had to get them to rub their tummies and say gnam gnam (Italian for yum yum) to get anyone to put the emphasis on the right part of the word.
enamel animals - gnam gnam
This brings us to l'Isola dei famosi, the Italian reality show that is a cross between Survivor and I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. It is delicious to watch this on line because it is three hours of free Italian lessons for me with no commercials and because it is absurd. They are making the participants whose television debut was postponed by hurricane-like conditions in Honduras las week, jump off a helicopter into the sea and swim to the island one by one. One of the participants is a porn star named Rocky that does nothing but speak in double entendres. There is also the Morroccan participant who cried through her whole season of Master Chef and seems to be relatively mentally unstable at best. It is a hot mess.

The hostess is a plastic surgery victim as is her crew of cronies. The technical aspects of the show are so amateur that as she speaks to the contestants live from her studio their is a three minute time lag and they constantly speak over one another. It is so dire that she told one of the participants to jump off the helicopter before it had lowered to a safe level over the sea; luckily, the pilot must have disuaded him from listening to her. The first immunity challenge was a gran fregatura in which the host on the island explained that there was a bunch of stuff on a pier that the contestants had to use to get from part of a boardwalk to another without touching the water. Their was a heavy tub, some pig fat, a scuba suit, and some floatable pogie sticks, but he neglected to point out the planks of wood and so the time elapsed without any of them making it to the other side. Now that's some winning television right there, folks.

So here they are on one side of the plank. I'll save you 20 minutes of your life: They never get to shore.

Pig fat, huh?

You would think that after this much work she would be devoid of expression, but you'd be wrong. It's her voice that is actually really screechy and annoying for a television personality.

The host shows them how it's done afterwards, but not until after he scolds them for not listening carefully enough when he explained the rules of the game.

This is who the host chats with instead of ordinary audience members. I'm calling her "Lips" and him "lecherous old cronie guy," "Lech" for short.

This is Belen's sister Cecilia's reaction to the news. As lecherous old cronie guy put it, she does not seem convinta/convinced.
Here is "Adamo" otherwise known as Brice Martinet. He is waiting behind a paravento completely nude waiting for further instructions. Fifty Shades of What??
I'm at the point where they are telling Belen Rodriguez's sister that she will have to go home if she refuses to strip nude and play Eve on an island with a male model, who will be her Adam on an island with no provisions. They had the nerve to ask how her fiance and his wife felt about this, since they were there watching their every move from the tv studio audience.
This is the fiance and the wife. They look a little hot under the collar.

Wendy Williams, if you're reading this, I know you are pissed not to be Italian right now.

Actually, my reluctant student from this morning, the one who has every bad omen attached to her possible, reminds me of this participant named Caterina/Catherine Spaak who is already bailing on the show. She gave as her reason that she was seasick, but then went on to say that she was lying a little and that there is more to the story. This is the kind of untrustworthy female of a certain age that give me hives. I am allergic to them. What I love is this shot of the host casually flashing us everything but her crotch while she interview the crotchety old lady. Letch spurred the audience to actually boo this lady. At first I thought he was so rude, but now I think maybe he was right.

Crotchety vs. Crotch shot. 

You know things aren't going my way this week when I start agreeing with Lech.

P.S. It turns out Rocco the porn star and Catherine Spaak, a French singer and actress who starred in some classic Italian films including one with Marcello Mastroianni which was panned by The New York Times called L'Uomo Dei Cinque Palloni, were some real lookers back in the day. Here's a flashback:

And now they're doing (and not doing)  this!

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