posted in: about Deborah | 2

It’s been a No Good Very Bad Week here at Chez Castellano-Scangarella as evidenced by my post about my uncle. I was asked to give the eulogy at his wake and a reading at his funeral.  There was the requisite <strike> WOP </strike> Italian-American drama that comes with this, but of course it’s always from someone you don’t suspect.

I’ve been cleaning and organizing since until today where my body decided the best way to show sympathy for my plight is the way it always does; by attacking me viciously.  Stomach pains, falling asleep by 9p and its favorite piece de la resistance during times of great trauma; hives.  Sexy, sexy scabby hives on my chest, neck, back and inside of my arms.  Thanks, body!  This is why we can’t have anything nice!

I was out to dinner with my mom and we were engaging in a favorite past time of ours, a mutual complicated “nag dance” (as April calls it) where one of us nags the other and the other replies with a nag in return.  If done with only the two of us, it’s a pleasant way to pass the time as only snarky bitches can enjoy.  If others are present (or worse, engaging in the dance), they mess up the dance and everyone winds up irritated with everyone else.

We started the conversation on a favorite topic, The Woman We Currently Both Hate (this is not a gender exclusive topic, it is sometimes The Man, The Person, etc).

Mom: And do you believe that pagan just —

Me: Did you just call her a pagan?

Mom: Is that wrong?

Me: I’m a Pagan, Mom!

Mom (sighs): What do I call her then?

Me: A jerk?

Mom: She’s an asshole.

(later, leaving dinner)

Me: Ugh, I’m so full!

Mom: You shouldn’t have ordered that struffola. (pronounced: Stru-fa-la)

Me: Struffola?  That’s not even a real word*.  That’s it!  That’s what you can call her!  Call her a struffola!  There are so many Italian dialects, everyone here will just assume it’s an Old World Sicilian word.  If you say it nasty and sneer when you say it, they’ll know what you’re saying.

(on the way home)

Me: Stop biting your fingers.  They’re going to be bloody stumps soon.

Mom: You scratch your hives.

Me: It’s not a cute look for either of us.  We need to contain ourselves.

Mom: At least mine aren’t scratched and scabby.  So anyway–

Me (quietly): Struffola.

Mom (stops and realizes what I said) (laughs girlishly)


If you want a masculine version, it would be Struffolio (pronounced: stru-foh-lio).  Gender neutral would be struffola because it’s my word and I get to decide.



* Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrry loosely, you could translate it to the Italian Honey balls** we make every year for Christmas that I burn myself on with the oil.  If you wanted to be no fun whatsoever.

** Which was not the dessert I ordered anyway.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


2 Responses

  1. Awesome. I needed a new word like that.
    Andrew B. Watt recently posted..Tai Chi Y2D238My Profile

  2. Just found your blog today and this entry…it is perfect! Another name for strufoli is “cicerchiata”, which in Barese dialect is also used to say “little shit balls”. 😀 It works!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.