Sunday, April 25, 2010

For Katie and MH

I was just looking at a personal finance post on the secrets of Italian-Americans. Have a look--I think you'll like it.

D seems a bit under the weather, so C and I walked to church this morning, meeting a family of neighbors headed in the same direction as we stepped out the door. C got to roast marshmallows by herself at the star party last night, and she wants to buy a fire pit. My husband, being a think-outside-the-box person, is thinking about alternate fire sources, for instance a jar filled with alcohol and a wick. I seem to remember doing pretty well roasting marshmallows over an electric stove element when I was a kid, but our stove top here in our rental house is glass and still bears the marks from the time my Thanksgiving ham glaze bubbled over, so I'm not about to suggest that option.

C and her dad went geocaching this afternoon at the big city park, but didn't turn up anything. They did, however, rescue a baby snapping turtle from a fence where it had gotten stuck because of its spikes. After dinner, I did some walking (mostly around the block) and am now in striking distance of the end of Pride and Prejudice.

Tomorrow is another free dress day at school. C would like to wear her new tie dye shirt, while D dislikes free dress days and is planning to wear his school uniform.


MH said...

Nice link. I grew-up in a very non-Italian cultural setting and picked-up very little of that.

Xantippe said...

Glad you liked it. Thomas Sowell is the one who alerted me to the interesting cultural features of Italian immigrants, possibly in his book "Migrations and Cultures". Sowell describes various immigrant groups and the strategies they've followed around the world (Italians have been very successful in South America). It's been a while since I read the book, but as I recall, EXTREME frugality was the Italian method of getting ahead. "Race and Culture" is also a good book, although those books are somewhat depressing if you think about it, because he documents how all these little entrepeneurial minorities (Jews, Lebanese, East Indians, Chinese) scrabble for a living in alien lands and then get scapegoated, persecuted or massacred for being too successful. It's a global phenomenon that says all sorts of bad things about human nature.