Monday, November 26, 2007

Saving The Best For Last - The Hon. Nancy Pelosi

Ciao a tutti,

A month ago I wrote about the NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) Convention and Gala and posted all kinds of pictures taken of me at the event with all kinds of people. There was one picture however that didn't make it to me and therefore my blog post until just now. It is of the Hon. Nancy Pelosi, which is a person who is pretty high up there on the Who's Who in the world at the moment, and that is why I titled this post "Saving The Best For Last."

I think in fact it is quite appropriate that I dedicate this post solely to Nancy for many reasons. Besides holding the third highest office in America and besides her being the first in line to the Presidency should something happen to the President and the Vice-President, she is Italian-American. She where I was going with this.

But I remember talking to some people who thought she was Italian by marriage, because of her husbands last name. In fact, she was born Nancy D'Alessandro to a very Italian family. In a video made by NIAF shown at the Gala before her being honored, I myself was happy to see how much we had in common about growing up Italian-American.

So, here's to Nancy and all that she has done and all that she will do for herself, her family, Italian-Americans, Americans, the U.S. and the World.


P.S. Here is a clip of the video I mentioned above as was shown at the NIAF Gala and posted do on Youtube. (In English)

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Couple Odds and Ends - Italianish

Ciao a tutti,

In this day and age I know for sure that so many of us get forwarded some interesting, and some not so interesting E-mails from our friends who think we need to see this or that, or read this or that, or do this or that.

You can imagine I get my share from not only some of my friends but from some of my fans as well. It can be a bit overwhelming to be sure, especially since I get the same thing sometimes from different people.

Mostly, I just erase them, otherwise, I would spend my whole day with them. But I must admit that every once in a while I happen upon something that I actually find interesting or funny or even important.

I decided it was time to put up a couple of those in this post, especially since they are Italianish. So, if you haven't seen these circulating, you will see it here. And if you have seen them, then you know how I feel, he, he.

But seriously, I thought this was really interesting. Above is a picture of the Statue of Liberty, or at least, a picture of an image of the Statue of Liberty. And if you look really closely, you will notice that it is an old picture of people "huddled" together, like the "huddled masses yearning to be free," as the song says.

The people standing together form the image of the statue. Isn't that interesting. I wish I had more information on it, who took it, why, who is in the pictures, etc.

But because the Statue of Liberty was such an important symbol to immigrants, especially Italians, (La Statua Della Liberta), I thought it was appropriate to include here.

Now this next set of pictures are Italianish scenes to me and my excuse to include them here. But also it looks to me that much of what is in the pictures is very Italian too. But can you see what the pictures are made of? Everything in the picture is a food item. I really think this is very clever.

Here too I wish I had the information as to who created these food masterpieces and how they were created. First of all I would really love to give the credit to whomever created them. Secondly, I would like to know if the food was actually placed and then photographed or were the imaged manipulated in some way. Either way, it is a feat and artistic and beautiful and very appetizing.

And don't they look like Italy, some of them? And doesn't the cheese look Italian? Maybe it's just me.

Finally, here is one of those you have to read, and this is so Italianish, in fact, it is stereotypical even, but hopefully not offensive to anyone. It is called

"The Italian That Came To New York..."

One day Ima go to New York to a bigga hotel...

I go down to eat soma breakfast. I tell the waitress

I wanna two piss toast. She branga me only onea piss. I tella her I wanna two piss, she say go to the toilet, I say you no understand. I wannt two piss on the plate. She say you better no piss on the plate you sonna ma bitch. I don't even know the lady and she call me sonna ma bitch.

Later, I go to eat soma lunch at the Drake Restaurant, the waitress bringa me a spoon, ana knife, but no fock. I tella her I wanna fock. She tellsa me everybody wanna fock. I tell her, you no understand, I wanna fock on the table. She say you better not fock on the table, you sonna ma bitch. I don't even know the lady and she call me a sonna ma bitch.

So I go back to my room inna hotel, an there's no sheet on my bed. I calla the manager ana tell him I wanna sheet. He tells me go to the toilet. So I say you no understand, I wanna sheet on the bed. He say you better not sheet on the bed, you sonna ma bitch. I don't even know the man ana he call me a sonna ma bitch.

I go to check out and the man at the desk, he say peace to you. I say piss ona you too, you sonna ma bitch!

I go back to Italy!!!

I would watch stories like this unfold before me with my parents of their immigrant friends and on occasion even to me as I was learning English. So though I am sure this didn't happen exactly like this, I am sure it happened lots.

Hope you enjoyed those.


P.S. Now here is someone I can identify. He is Italian-American comedian Mike Birbiglia. It is a clip I got off of Youtube in which he mentions his Italian parents and a particular situation that is reminiscent of the story I wrote out above. (In English)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Finding Filippo - On The Web

Ciao a tutti,

I am sure you are all familiar with the movie, "Finding Nemo." Well this blog post title, has nothing to do with it. But I wonder, what kind of name is Nemo? Isn't it Italian?

But I digress and I haven't even started my post yet. "Finding Filippo." Obviously, having an Internet presence has it advantages and it's disadvantages. Depending on what kind of life you lead, having people be able to find you could be a good thing, or a bad thing. But again, I digress.

Well, not really, in my case, it is a good thing. Like in this case and the reason I am writing this post. I was contacted by a young lady in France who's maiden name is the same as my surname. She wrote to me how she saw my posts and what I do and how much I reminded her of her son and how we must have "it" in the blood.

I wasn't sure what she was talking about but I was intrigued and I wrote her back and asked her to explain. Besides, when it comes to family I want to know them all, not that I even have time for the family I already know of, but I want to know. Isn't that the Italian way?

So, Christiane, pictured above and her son Thomas just below it, wrote me back and told me that her parents were from a neighboring town to where my parents came from in Sicily and like my parents came to America, hers went to France. She speaks French like I speak English, but unfortunately I don't speak French like she speaks English.

And unfortunately, she didn't learn Italian. Anyway, she grew up Italian in every other sense, traditions, culture, pride, etc. and was so happy and proud to see not only another "family" member who like her who feels strongly about being Italian, and one who was so similar to her son.

Okay, I have "family" in quotes because, I am not sure if we are related closely, distantly, or if at all. But regardless there are so many people who don't share my surname at all and I consider them family, so, why not, he, he. Although, I would like to explore this further someday, of course I haven't had time.

But I wanted to know what she meant by "similar to her son." In answer to that question she wrote that her son was named Thomas Lemoine and he is in the "business," to which I understood to mean the movie or entertainment business. And in a subsequent E-mail sent me all of these pictures of him.

Wow! I see what she meant. Here is a guy who against many odds, is in the "movie" business at a very young age in France. And what does he do. He shoots a short film and submits it to a review board for a competition and of the hundreds of films in the competition, his gets selected.

As a prize and as part of the aid to the development of the film he gets sent to Hollywood, my backyard so to speak, to meet with all these movers and shakers of the business and learn the trade.

Then he takes pictures with them and posts them, he, he.

What do you think of that? Now I KNOW he's family! He, he. I am proud of him and for him and I don't even know him. But CONGRATULAZIONE to Thomas and I can't wait to hear more and see more about him and of him and I look forward to meeting him on his next trip to Hollywood after the film gets made.

Better yet, I would love to interview him on the red carpet on his way to receiving his Oscar for his film. Why not? This is my blog, right?

And oh, yes, thank you Christiane for finding me and writing me and congratulations to you too, or should I say félicitations et espoir de vous rencontrer bientôt (Congratulations and I hope to meet you soon).


P.S. Here is a video I just found on Youtube of a comical short that Thomas directed and stared in a year or so ago, it seems. I hope it's comical. Like I said, I don't understand French as much as I would like to but it looks clever. I hope it is something he would all want us to see. (In French)

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Order of Sons of Italy in America Grand Lodge of California - Gala at the Americana Lodge

Ciao a tutti,

I was invited by Annette Zappia of the OSIA Americana Lodge and by Comedian and host Mike Marino to sing a song in honor of Joseph La Banca State President of the OSIA at a dinner held in La Habra. It was a beautiful affair and so wonderful to see so many people I knew and had seen in so long. I used to sing at so many local Order of Sons of Italy events and it felt so nice to be there.

I was also in good company, Mike did a great job as host and of course funny as ever. Then Autumn Scarlett was also there to sing a song for the occasion. I had recently met Autumn at the Los Angeles San Gennaro Festival where we both performed. Her with her own solo show and I with Chef Richard and the "Filippo and the Chef" Show.

Of course I couldn't just sing one song. And I don't think they really wanted me to just sing one song, could they have?

No I am sure not, because if that was the case, they wouldn't have invited me back for a whole show in March. And of course I said yes, and I am looking forward to it. It is called Filippo and Friends featuring Mike Marino and Special Guest Singer Laura De Leon.

Rumor has it that Chef Richard might even make an appearance.

It will be held on March 30, 2008, and you can click on the flyer to see more information about the show. Hope to see more of my friends I haven't seen in a long time.

A presto,


P.S. Mike Marino has an already popular new DVD out on the market called "Live at the Paramount." You can purchase one at Here is a short clip of it posted on (In English)