Old Man Nate’s HALLOWEEN TALE

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It’s my birthday today.

I’ve just published my first book!

It’s an adventure children ‘s novelette for which I also made the illustrations and the entire layout and cover art.

A HALLOWEEN TREAT available for purchase@ https://www.createspace.com/3683969

and very soon also on Amazon.com in both print and kindle.

Here’s a little preview on my FB profile.

This is a dream come true and the best B-day present so far. It’s right up there, with the 17’th b-Day, when I gave myself the exquisite pleasure of memorizing Hamlet’s monologue. Yeah, I still know it and I’ve “performed” it on several occasions, including a HALLOWEEN costume party, where I went as the troubled Prince of Denmark.

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Zaraza – Cristian Vasile

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This is a Romanian tango (actually the melody is “borrowed” from a Uruguayan tango from 1929) but the Romanian lyrics are divine. Below, their translation by yours truly. The copyright sign is there for a reason, and I’m not kidding about this. You are not allowed to use my translation under no circumstance and for no purpose without my knowledge and permission. The structure of the verses is my own re-arrangement, so don’t bother “correct” it. It’s how I perform it, a cappella.

The Spanish version is with the original lyrics, in which, “zaraza” is no longer a fascinating woman, but rather a gentle little donkey. 🙂 I didn’t bother to translate those. I can barely fit them to the music as they are, so used am I to the Romanian sense of the words.

ZARAZA

Versuri: Nicolae Kiriţescu
Muzica: Benjamin Tagle Lara
Voce: Cristian Vasile

1. Cînd apari señorita, în parc pe-nserat
Curg în juru-ţi petale de crin.
Ai în ochi patimi dulci şi luciri de păcat,
Şi ai trupul de şarpe felin.

2. Gura ta e-un poem de nebune dorinţi,
Sînii tăi un tezaur sublim.
Eşti un demon din vis, care tulburi şi minţi,
Dar ai zîmbetul de heruvim.

Chorus:
Vreau să-mi spui frumoasă Zaraza,
Cine te-a iubit?
Cîţi au plîns nebuni pentru tine,
Şi cîţi au murit?
Vreau să-mi dai gura-ţi dulce Zaraza,
Să mă-mbete mereu.
De a ta sărutare Zaraza vreau să mor şi eu!

3. Gura ta e-un poem de nebune dorinţi,
Sînii tăi un tezaur sublim.
Eşti un demon din vis, care tulburi şi minţi,
Şi ai trupul de şarpe felin.

Chorus:
Vreau să-mi spui frumoasă Zaraza,
Cine te-a iubit?
Cîţi au plîns nebuni pentru tine,
Şi cîţi au murit?
Vreau să-mi dai gura-ţi dulce Zaraza,
Să mă-mbete mereu.
De a ta sărutare Zaraza vreau să mor şi eu!

4. Cînd apari señorita, în parc pe-nserat
Curg în juru-ţi petale de crin.
Ai în ochi patimi dulci şi luciri de păcat,
Dar ai zîmbetul de heruvim.

Chorus:
Vreau să-mi spui frumoasă Zaraza,
Cine te-a iubit?
Cîţi au plîns nebuni pentru tine,
Şi cîţi au murit?
Vreau să-mi dai gura-ţi dulce Zaraza,
Să mă-mbete mereu.
De a ta sărutare Zaraza vreau să mor şi eu!

ZARAZA (Eng.)

Lyrics: Nicolae Kiriţescu
Translated by ©: Alexandra M. Păun
Music: Benjamin Tagle Lara

1. As you walk, senorita, in the park at dusk
Lily petals surround you it seems,
Your eyes are dark with sweet poison and lust,
And your body is calling with sin.

2. Your sweet kiss tells a poem of dementing desire
And your bosom is burning with fire
You’re a mad demon’s dream, to drive crazy any man
But you smile like an angel from Heaven.

Chorus:

Won’t you tell me, pretty Zaraza…
Who has loved your smile?
And how many have cried for your kisses?
How many have died?

Won’t you kiss me, pretty Zaraza
I want to lose my mind.
I would kill for your loving, Zaraza
For you I would die!

3. Your sweet kiss tells a poem of dementing desire
And your bosom is burning with fire
You’re a mad demon’s dream, to drive crazy any man
And your body is calling with sin.

Chorus:

Won’t you tell me, pretty Zaraza…
Who has loved your smile?
And how many have cried for your kisses?
How many have died?

Won’t you kiss me, pretty Zaraza
I want to lose my mind.
I would kill for your loving, Zaraza
For you I would die!

4. As you walk, senorita, in the park at dusk
Lily petals surround you it seems,
Your eyes are dark with sweet poison and lust,
But you smile like an angel from Heaven.

Chorus:

Won’t you tell me, pretty Zaraza…
Who has loved your smile?
And how many have cried for your kisses?
How many have died?

Won’t you kiss me, pretty Zaraza
I want to lose my mind.
I would kill for your loving, Zaraza
For you I would die!

ZARAZA (Esp.)
 
Texto y música por Benjamin Tagle Lara (1929)

1. Blanca huella que, todos los dias,
clavado en el yugo, me ves picanear;
compañera del largo camino
las horas enteras te veo blanquear.
Mientras que, bajo el peso del trigo,
los ejes cansados los siento quejar,
yo, anudando mi pena a esa queja,
con cantos y silbos te sé acompañar.

Ref: ¡A la huella, huella, zaraza,
huella, huella, guay!
Volverá la ingrata a su casa
andará por áhi…
Que si yo la viera, zaraza,
la hablaré, velay…
¡A la huella, huella, zaraza,
huella, huella, guay!

2. Buey zaraza, tus ojos tristones
mirando la huella parecen buscar
el milagro de aquellos pasitos
que al irse la ingrata no supo dejar.
Compañero que, unido conmigo
a un mismo destino, tenemos que andar,
seguiremos rastreando la huella,
la misma gue siempre la vemos blanquear.

Tomato Cream Soup

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One of my favorites, summer or winter, now with a secret to prepare it fast, easy and in every season.

Time: 45 min.

Level: beginner-intermediate

Price: rather “cost effective”

Type: carnivorous – it tastes the best with chicken broth, though I take out the meat for another course. One could try to make it vegan with some “soup” cubes from Knorr, but I never use those…

Another shortcut recipe to the traditional way of peeling, taking out the seeds and mashing of the tomatoes which take more time than we’re willing to spend in the kitchen.

I use tomato purée or passata di pomodoro as they call it in Italy.

If you choose a quality brand and make sure it’s as fresh as possible (no preservatives) and also that is sweet, not salty, than your soup should taste divine.

Here we go:

Ingredients:

– 1 pack of chicken meat, even the cheap “back, feet and head” would do, we only need the broth out of it. You can also use 2 cow bones, make sure they still have the marrow.

– 5 l. of water

– 300 gr. , roughly 2 handfuls of fine pasta (vermicelli)

– 2 or 3 packs of 500 gr. of tomato purée (passata di pomodoro)

– salt

– grated cheese

– parsley

Optional:  (add 5 min. to preparation time)

– 1 or 2 eggs

– a handful of rice

– one carrot

– croutons or simply toast

You will also need:

– a 6 l.  pot with a lid

– another 6 l. pot

– a fine (tea) strainer

– oven mitts

– a skimmer

– two plates

– a fork

– a peeling knife or a plain kitchen all-purpose knife

– a chopping tray

Preparation:

1. Wash the meat and put it in the pot with the 5 l. of clear tap water to boil. Cover with the lid so it boils faster.

I know some of you are used to watch out and skim the broth once the meat starts to boil, but this is not necessary, because we will strain the entire thing pretty soon.

2. Meanwhile, if you decide to add rice, wash the rice thoroughly in a plate, by adding water and draining it several times.

3. Also, if you want to add the carrot, peel and chop it now to any sizes and shapes suit your fancy, but keep in mind the smaller the pieces, the faster it boils. I prefer my tomato soup carrot-free. And chop the parsley, too, while you’re at it.

4. This is when you should also cut open your packs of tomato purée, because you’ll need them handy very soon.

5. It should take some 20-to-30 minutes until the broth is finally done. Once the water starts to boil you should leave it for at least 10 minutes, or until the meat is done. Your sense of smell will let you know that. This is when you turn off the oven and take off the lid to let some steam out.

6. Using the skimmer tool, fish out the meat pieces onto a plate. Your broth should smell delicious and have nice fatty spots on its surface.

7. I usually do this step by myself, but here’s where your significant other may come in and lend a hand. I simply put the skimmer across the second pot and make sure the tea strainer is steady between the pot’s edge and the skimmer’s handle. But you can ask a reliable person to simply hold the strainer while you pour the steaming broth. Here’s where you need to be awfully careful and use the oven mitts. Or, if you’re in no hurry, just wait a few more minutes for the broth to cool down. If you want to wait, add those minutes to the preparation time, because I didn’t.

8. Your broth is now clear of any foam or impurities that might have resulted from boiling the meat (or the cow bones). Put the new pot again on the stove and wait until it reaches boiling temperature. If you add rice and carrots, you can put them in right from the beginning, as they take more time to boil and they will moisten in the warm broth until it starts to boil. Don’t forget to stir gently, especially if you add rice.

9. Once your broth is boiling, add the vermicelli and keep stirring gently. The vermicelli should take between 3 to 8 minutes to boil, depending on make and model. I prefer the very fine ones, that take very little to be done.

10. While you stir with the skimmer, you can pick up you “fish” – a carrot piece, some rice, some vermicelli – to check if they are done. The carrot should be tender, easy to cut through with a knife or fork, the rice should be a fine white and near splitting, while the vermicelli should be slightly thicker and very tender. Don’t let them boil over this level, or you’ll end up with a mashed purée of everything.

11. It’s time to add the tomato purée by stirring it gently into the broth. Keep stirring for another 3 to 5 minutes and only now you may add salt to your taste.

12. Once the soup is salted to taste, you turn off the stove and cover it with a lid while you beat one or two eggs into a plate with a fork.

13. Take of the lid, careful with the steam, and while stirring gently, pour the beaten egg into the steaming soup. The egg will instantly boil, so you must pour it very thin, unless you want to have big chunks of egg into your soup.

14. Now you can leave the lid off and add the chopped parsley.

15. Serve very hot, with grated cheese that melts into strings and croutons or toast, to your liking.

Bon appetit!

P.S. Don’t forget to wash the first pot in which you boiled the meat and all the tools you used, before sitting down for the meal. This way, you will only have two plates and spoons to clean up with a full stomach.

Also, have a plan for what to do with the meat or bones. But this will be a tale for another kitchen game.

Fall is here

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Every year I savor the Indian Summer and I hang on to it long into October, until the first rains fall.

The cold then lets in that oh, so sweet melancholy and suddenly French & Italian songs overwhelm my inner radio.

Hence, my shower playlist changes, but I know it’s just a phase.

Can’t wait for the first snow, for that nice chilly white feeling, for the early evening lights, when you don’t really know what time it is unless you check your watch to see it’s ONLY 5 o’clock!

Until then, since this is the month of my birthday, let’s savor the last clear blue skies and the change of colors.

Les Yeux des Pauvres…

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May 2010, I was in Cannes with the ScriptEast Workshops and took some time to try my hand at photography…

The glamor of the Film Festival brings a harsh contrast to this poor old lady from Bosnia. With aching feet and worn out clothes, she leaned on a cane and held out a paper cup, silently asking for alms.

Not many people took notice of her. Nicely dressed, they were all in a hurry to catch the evening’s attractions. She reminded me of Baudelaire’s prose poem “The Eyes of the Poor”, hence the title.

I was exhilarated and grateful because earlier the same evening I saw Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson walk the red carpet. So I put in her cup all the money I had on me that instant. Roughly the amount to buy 2 warm sandwiches in Cannes, or to eat for a whole week in my part of the world.

Yet, I wondered, if I had more… would I even have stopped?

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Thought of the day – diary

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Nov. 6.2011

If you don’t do something with your full heart, then it’s no point in doing it at all… there’s always someone else who, to your greatest surprise, will take pleasure in doing that which you hate. Never despise that someone, or you will be a lesser person.

Oct.31.2011

Saints do not move, though grant for prayer’s sake…

Oct.14.2011

Happy birthday to my best!

Oct. 13.2011

“Nelson loved a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.

Nelson loved a little lamb,

it kept me nice and sane.”

Oct. 11.2011

You take one circle. You caress it.

It becomes vicious.

Riders on the Storm

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The sexiest voice ever!

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm

There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road, yeah

Girl ya gotta love your man
Girl ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah

Yeah!

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm

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