Archive for the ‘The Romanos’ Category

My Beloved Bull & Total Bull$%#!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.” ~ W. C. Fields

Some precious objects we own and adore, break. Family heirlooms can be destroyed by a hurricane, pipes can burst (been there, done that) and horrid fire damage can break you into a million pieces just thinking about beloved possessions lost.

Ever since I was crawling around on the floor as a little one, I remember Dad having this bull on his dresser. Dad was a Taurus, and I believe Mom bought it for him as a birthday gift after I was born. (Mr. Bull’s close up below.)


At night, the bull had the task of keeping Dad’s wallet tucked in its back, and Dad’s watch perched around its horns. He always did a fine job, that little bull, and I was always fascinated with it for some reason.


Fast forward a few decades when Mom & Dad were having some financial issues (caused by a certain family member, a.k.a. “user” who shall remain nameless), and had to put many of their belongings in storage between moving to a new house. Ok, so far, it sounds like something many may have had to struggle with. Only it gets bumped up a notch, since this “user” never paid the storage fees as he was supposed to, and my parents had their heads in the sand, and the place ended up being bulldozed to make way for another dreaded mini-mall.

Dad’s bull, along with thick photo albums, keepsakes, tons of loose family photos, my Grandmother’s china from Sicily, a few fine antiques, and my father’s “famous” Knights-of-Columbus gear — all swept away in an afternoon, or most likely sold to some vultures at auction. I know Mom had a hard time telling me about this, because she knows I’m a very sentimental person.

Ok, I better stop here, because it’s a very sore spot for me, and you know what I am capable of (referencing Shaken Laptop Syndrome.) I can’t even bring myself to ever watch Storage Wars, because I find myself getting sad, angry and overwhelmed.

You may wonder how I have this bull photographed. Well, I hunted one down and found him — the exact one, GRAZIE EBay! I’ll just keep pretending it is Dad’s. ♥

Please tell me about something cherished you may have lost, or rediscovered — I’d love to hear about it!

7 Links Challenge

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

I was recently asked by Barbara Hammond of Zero to 60, and Katie Sorene of Trip Base to take part in the 7 Links Challenge, where you select previously written posts in 7 categories, then ask your fellow bloggers/blogstresses to do the same. It’s a bit harder than you think, so please challenge yourself. I won’t call anyone out (as the “rules” state) so it’s up to you if you wish to give it a whirl. Plus, I do enjoy breaking the rules!

    Here are the categories and my Madness selections:

Most beautiful post:
Mourning Mom
Speaks for itself, and it’s all still so surreal to me. My world as I knew it ended when mom died.

Most popular post:
Joe Pesci is my third cousin, you gotta F*%#!n’ problem with that?
Because who doesn’t love crazy ranting cousin Joe?

Most controversial post:
The Good Ol’ Inappropriate Days.
Political correctness? Who really gives a sh!t?

Most helpful post:
Love Rituals

Everyone should be so lucky to have so much love.

A post whose success surprised you:
Pretty Precious Things
Short & sweet — I received many comments and emails about your treasured keepsakes.

A post which didn’t get the attention it deserved:
Turn the Car Around Dominic!
Come on, Mom throwing her shoes, handbag and Dad’s wallet out of the car window? = funny stuff!

Post that you are most proud of:
Ding-a-lings at the Dover Library
A little girl’s original art. So what if it was all about a penis…I love that story!

Have a blog? Free to share your link in the comments section, and/or tell me about your single favorite post.

Capeeshe Italiano?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Today, I’m reveling in the memories which bubbled to the surface after reading an email from my fun-loving cousin Jackie (which reminded her of the many Romano family dinners past in Morristown, NJ). Wow, I can just about TASTE grandma’s crab sauce! I hope you ENJOY my take on this amusing email.

OK, let’s start at the beginning:

Come stai?
Molto bene

That about covers the basics everyone knows, so here are some words and phrases that are a mix of Italian-American with a heaping spoonful of slang. Words every Paesano and Bacciagaloop have heard for certain — affectionately known as “Goomba-Italiano”, an adored language which has been around for many generations.

The goomba says “ciao” when he arrives or leaves. He says “Mama Mia!” anytime emotion is needed in any given situation. Mannaggia, meengya, oofah, and of course, va fongool can also be used.

There are usually plenty of mamalukes, and always one girl from the neighborhood with the reputation as a facia-bruta, puttana or a schifosa. Let’s not forget the googootz or mezzo-finookio in the hood as well.

If called cattivo, cabbadost, sfatcheem, stupido, or strunz, you’re a pain in the ass. A crazy diavolo can give you the malocchio (evil eye), but that red horn (contra malokya) will protect you if you use it right (just be careful). If you’re feeling a bit mooshadda or stounad or mezzo-morto, just go to Nonna’s and let her fix you up with a plate of homemade manicott’, cavadell’, or calamar’, or some ricott’ cheesecake.

Then, mangia some zeppoles, cannolis, torrone, struffoli, shfoolyadell’, pignoli cookies, or a little nutella on pannetone — Delizioso!

Here’s a popular sentence: “I think I’ll fix myself a sangweech of cabacol’ with some proshoot and mozarell’ or maybe just a hot slice of peetza.”

Please give MADNESS a salud’ below if you understood any of this – that would be BELLISSIMO!

Oh, and if anyone EVER says ESCAROLE, slap ’em in the face — it’s ‘SHCAROLE! Then please head back to the MADNESS home HERE

Your Family in 3 Words

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

“Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.”

Hey guys – let’s have a little fun today, shall we? Go ahead and describe your family in just three words (in the comments area below). Come on, just post the first three words that pop into your head!

ITALIAN LESSON: Family = La Famiglia

Okay, I’ll go first: neurotic, quirky & lovable (not in that order, of course) 🙂

When you’re done commenting, please head back to the madness home HERE

Debut: Six Sentence Saturdays

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Something new! Little six sentence snippets of my family insanity posts.

These six (long sentences) are from my original post, “Just a Crazy Italian Famiglia from NJ”. Hope you enjoy ~ Ciao Bellas!

Mom certainly contributed her fair share of insanity to our little Romano clan, and I love her for it, I really do. Come on, how many other daughters can go on about how their mom threw her shoes/purse/dad’s wallet out of the car window, flipped her spaghetti plate at the dinner table, ran away a few times (well, it was just around the block, or to the corner of her walk-in closet), had special “turn-the-car-around” powers, or flipped on the gas oven to do the family in?

Plus, an almost-daughter-in-law (seeing her before noon, you would’ve sworn she was Don King) who beat down an enemy with a plastic lawn goose and occasionally went berserk on family members with a Ginsu knife!

Seriously, mom and I shared many a laugh over these memories, complete with those precious “pee-your-pants” moments, and this is just the beginning.

MADONNA MIA! If you have a weak bladder, pop on your trusty Depends and hang on for the ride!

Turn the car around, Dominic!

Friday, September 4th, 2009

“We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.” ~ Phyllis Diller 

Mom loved the drama!

One of the things I most looked forward to (and some days despised at the same time) were our weekend family day trips.  Looking back,  it seemed that we all – mom, dad, me and my cousin Tracy – were always jumping in the car to hit the best the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas had to offer:  Turtleback Zoo, Space Farms, Roadside America (a vast indoor miniature village), Bertran’s Island Amusement Park (home of the most rickety old wooden roller coaster in the USA),  The Land of Make Believe, Gingerbread Castle, The Snake & Reptile Farm, Jockey Hollow, Jenny Jump Mountain, Jockey Hollow (a “George” Washington slept here type of park) or some other family type destination.  Places where the many happy normal families ventured to on the weekends, but being Romano’s, we just didn’t “do” normal.

Bertrand's Island

You may be thinking, why would a little girl despise all of these fun family places?  Mom’s in the passenger seat. Driving to and from these events would be a total crap shoot. Would we go in? Would we turn around with me and my cousin Tracy in tears? Would mom throw something out the window? OK, let me explain, here’s a typical scenario:  We leave the house with such anticipation of a family fun day ahead. Tracy and I are goofing around all happy and giggly in the back seat (unbuckled of course, as nobody buckled up in those days – we are all ready to be launched out of the car like a cold war nuclear bomb).  Tracy and I would often play what we called “Cousin It”, which meant I’d flip my long hair over my face,  put sunglasses on over my now hairy cousin it face, and wave my arms like a child maniac to the cars behind us.  Our goal was to get the driver or passengers to wave back, offer up a peace sign or simply a smile.  Tracy and I made it fun to ride in the car back then, but that was usually only on the way there. 

(Italian Lesson: Crazy = Pazzo (a) / it was a crazy idea = era un’ idea folle 

When we arrived at our destination brimming with excitement there was still one caveat, and our day’s fate was up to  the tar – otherwise known as the parking lot.  Yup, the freaking parking lot was our “fortune teller”.  If the lot was too crowded, mom would say “Dom, let’s get out of here, this place is too crowded!”.  If the parking lot was empty, mom would say “Dom, nobody is here, let’s turn around and go home!”.  If Dad put up an argument or disagreed – DRAMA TIME!  Mom would take control of the situation her way, which meant throwing something…ANYTHING out of the car window.  I’m not talking about a paper cup or trash, but I’m talking her wallet, her shoe or shoes (as if one wasn’t enough), shit –  sometimes her whole handbag would go flying out the window if mom was feeling extra dramatic that day!  This antic of hers “forced” my poor dad to turn the car around, get out and get her fucking shoe, wallet, purse, whatever it was, and proceed to head home defeated and speechless.  After screaming “Nooooooooooo Dad!” and “Come on, Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!” begging mom to stay, the car would soon be heading back to Dover, and Tracy and I would then begin making the nastiest faces at mom and shooting her a violent finger (with both hands!)  behind her back (from the back seat, she couldn’t see us of course).  Sometimes, we’d first break down in tears at the thought of our totally ruined day – that just sucked. One thing you could count on was that mom would get the finger whenever she turned her back to us for the remainder of THAT day!

Luckily, even with all of the turning around of the car, crying, kicking and screaming, our nutty little family still managed to see so many places over the years.  And yes, we usually had a really good time  – I have plenty of photos to prove it…REALLY!

Mom gets the Jersey Bird!

Mom gets the Jersey Bird!

Don’t make me throw my friggin’ purse out the window! Get back to the home of Madness:

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