L’aceto è un bruciatore tigna.

I’ve been going through a thing lately where it’s becoming obvious (to me) that I’m not getting any smarter. I’m sure it just sort of happens when you reach a certain age (maybe?) and become content with your surroundings (maybe?), but it’s making me very uncomfortable because I don’t like being the only person in the room who can’t work the Roku remote. (Not that the working of a remote control indicates a respectable level of intelligence. It doesn’t.) ((I can do Sudoku.)) (((I’ve been known to complete the Wednesday NYT crossword puzzle.)))

Anyway. I’m currently rubbing apple cider vinegar on my neck and rolling around in this book.


The vinegar is helping me smell like a hardboiled egg in the midst of a fancypantsing, and the book is teaching me Italian. Ms. Lahiri wrote the (autobiographical) book in Italian (because she is currently writing EVERYTHING in Italian, which is explained in the book) and then had it translated into English by the woman who translated The Complete Works of Primo Levi. (Although I haven’t read the complete works of Levi, I have read The Periodic Table and it’s one of my favorites. If you were here, we would be drinking coffee and talking about books. But you’re not here. It’s just me with the coffee.)

When you open In Other Words, the verso side of each page spread contains the chapter as written in Italian. The recto side holds the English translation. I started the book by focusing on the translation, but now I’m finding that I’m skipping back and forth and am able to occasionally decipher Italian phrases and the experience is boosting my confidence more than any witch hazel/tea tree oil mask ever could.



(Look how long my hair is! It’s been actively growing since 9:19CST on December 21, 2015.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

11 thoughts on “L’aceto è un bruciatore tigna.”

  1. Whoa, I’m so into this idea of a book in two languages! Adding it to my wishlist now.

  2. Two things. First. “Our” girls officially become teens this spring! Hope you are enjoying Meredith as much as much as I enjoy time with granddaughter Ella. Second. Belatedly, wanted you to know that as I saw news of Harper Lee’s passing flash across my device, the very first thought to surface was “Angela!” Still think of you from time to time, and sneak a peak now and then. Be happy!

  3. The old saying is that you are never too old to learn. So you just keep learning but realize the amount you will learn will slow down as you get older. And what you decide to learn will change greatly as you go along. By the way, had a great time with your dad and two of his friends on the golf course yesterday.

  4. My husband and I do trivia every night for a few minutes, and it is amazing the number of useless facts that have manages to stick in this 65+ brain.

  5. Hey! Any recommendations for restaurants or activities not to be missed in St. Louis? I’m coming to town this weekend with my girlfriend and so far we are planning to do City Museum and the arboretum, but have no idea where else we should go, so I thought I’d ask, as you are the only person I “sort of know” who lives there. Granted, I sort of know you and you don’t know me at all, but I know you have good taste in music and food and your hermit-like work habits are much like my own and as a result I figure you’re also likely to steer me in good directions. No pressure to respond, and I hope it’s not creepy to ask….but if you feel like it I’d love any suggestions. Thanks and take care!

  6. Your hair has been in active growth mode since pretty much *exactly* my younger daughter’s sixth birthday (down to the minute!). Coincidence?!?!? (I don’t know.) Also, there was the best interview of Jhumpa Lahiri in… the New Yorker? about her journey learning “the Italian.”

  7. I just stopped by to say hello and already I feel smarter. Two new books I should source and read. Many thanks . BTW I first came across your blog when yr eldest girl was a zygote. I’m so insanely happy your still blogging. I love your take on the world. xxx

  8. I did not know that about this book. It’s been in my queue from the library for a while now jsut because “Oooh, a new one from her!”. Friend in Italy who is a translator (she’s fluent in NINE languages) ((that I know of)) and loves to read will surely have something interesting to say about it.

    If you run out of ideas to write about on down the road, please consider telling us more about the cider thing!

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