Archive for February 2007

Hot and Not

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

The results are in.  Some like ‘em chocolate, and some don’t!  In a highly scientific poll conducted by Roshini Multi Media (a random sampling of business associates, members of Minneapolis media, former students, and one male cousin), we were able to dig deep and find out the best and worst Valentine’s Day gifts.

You might get ideas and find comfort in picks from some of our respondents:
BEST
1. Italian Stallion connected to the mafia
2. Giant Hershey’s kiss – the size of a car
3. Offer on house
4. Trip
5. Anything thoughtful
6. Time with sweetie
7. Nothing

WORST
1. Subscription to Weight Watcher’s magazine inside a big empty box of candy
2. Box of chocolate
3. Extremely extravagant gift  (must be a guy)
4. Tie “big whoop”–says the respondent
5. Anything impersonal
6. Roses delivered to work
7. Nothing, “all gifts are great”

So one cupid’s treasure can be another’s garbage…is that how the saying goes?  Especially impressive was the desire by most respondents to keep things simple.  One went so far to say:  “We decided years ago that Valentine’s Day was a Hallmark holiday and anyone who needs a designated holiday to show their love and care is, well, in trouble.”  Though I see the point in this statement, I must admit good feelings after getting a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Eve.  And even though one of my media buddies shares her disappointment with roses delivered to work (#6), she was a true friend in sharing my enthusiasm and surprise over the delivery.

Insurance consultant Stephanie Gruver might actually get a nod from our Hallmark detractor:  “I am going to sound like a very pathetic newlywed, but honestly if I could have anything, I would ask for a guarantee my husband and I could have another 50 years of happiness like we have had the last 5 months.  I cannot believe I found him, and I hope I always feel that way.”

Ah, love.  We got several romantic comments from men.  Young men even.  U of MN Journalism student Mark says spending time with his loved one doing what they love would be perfect.  He did note he has no loved one now, so I guess we could wish him Cupid’s arrow this holiday. 

Personal stylist Cheryl Burrell will be bummed if she doesn’t get a call or Valentine’s greeting of any kind.  So here’s wishing you Cheryl and hoping you hear from family and friends.  One mortgage banker was quite inspirational and detailed in describing his perfect gift:  “24 hours of one-on-one time with my wife.  Couples massage package for 2 at Spa Bella Casa followed up by a mellow, childless night out with dinner and dancing, then a hotel suite, brunch in bed, and a Sunday afternoon movie.”  Champagne wishes that comes true for you two.

So Happy Valentine’s Day or not, depending on where you are in life and on this holiday continuum.  And if there is an Italian Stallion out there looking for his match, feel free to let us know.  We’ll hook you up with Respondent Number One.

That’s Italian!

Friday, February 9th, 2007

In a month when many stop to focus on love, I’m reminded of a lovely topic I love:  opera.  Opera will always remind me of Prof. Figurito.  Imagine this little Italian man.  A Boston College Professor, who loved opera to his very core.  Italian to his very core.  He was tanned and wrinkled—signs of a life well-lived.  He was passionate about what he taught.  And what he taught was opera.

But to Prof. Figurito, opera was only real if it was Italian.  Librettos in German or French or any language other than Italian were not true opera.  Would he go so far to say they were imposters?  He went further.  He said they were not real opera.

And because we loved Prof. Figurito and accepted his opera worldview, we adopted his belief.  Real opera is Italian.  Indeed, when I visited one of the most famous opera houses in the world—Staatsoper in Vienna—and got the chance to see one of the most famous operas, Mozart’s Magic Flute, the fact that it was sung in German made it somewhat of a letdown.

Prof. Figurito was right.  It did not sound as beautiful as opera should.  No amount of Mozart-written music could improve the German libretto, the guttural tone of the words.

Hearing is believing.  But I guess I already knew this long before the journey across the ocean.  Thanks to the little Italian man who loved his opera and knew his stuff, as much as he loved being Italian. 

By the way, tonight Staatsoper is doing a Giacomo Puccini opera.  I’m sure Prof. Figurito would love that.