Monday, July 10, 2006


My present that my husband brought back for me from his math conference in Turin (Torino) was three comic books worth of that sexy Italian jewel thief Diabolik!!!

The Diabolik series is a little unusual in that it's the bad guy who is the good guy, or at least who is the protagonist. Diabolik is not exactly a good guy -- he has this rather questionable habit of killing people in cold blood in order to steal jewels. He's sort of redeemed by his overpowering love and fidelity for his supermodelesque girlfriend-and-partner-in-crime Lady Eva Kant.

(Even though it's an Italian series, it seems to be set in England for some reason...)

The story is entertaining although it requires the most incredible suspension of disbelief. Already the fact that Diabolik and Eva Kant can impersonate anyone -- perfectly -- just using rubber masks and wigs is, well, unbelievable. However the most ridiculous part in my mind is that Diabolik makes his living stealing these famous, incredibly valuable jewels, yet in all the episodes I've read, I haven't seen any concern or explanation of how he manges to resell these objects for money. Yet Diabolik has as many gadgets as Batman or James Bond. To me it's not clear that he could really afford all these amazing gadgets just on the black-market value of stolen jewels. So I've developed my own theory that in his spare time he likes to steal stuff from Wallace and Gromit's house.

I know, I know, worrying about such questions ruins the whole thing since -- when you come right down to it -- the entire premise is totally absurd. It's just a fantasy for people who want to imagine the exciting and glamorous lifestyle of a famous evil sexy superhero jewel thief, and I should just leave it at that.

Actually, I'm pretty happy to discover I'm still able to read these little comic books at all.

After learning French, I'd gotten the idea that it would be fun to learn lots of languages, so I started studying a bunch of others. Italian was the one where I'd gotten the farthest -- I'd gotten to the point of being able to write letters, have a rudimentary conversation, and read some real books.

But learning new languages is a time-consuming hobby, so back when I had a toddler and a baby and a full-time job, something had to give. Now that the kids are getting a little more independent, I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't had the discipline to get back to my studies.

I was reminded of my former hobby recently when I got the latest membership directory of a club I joined years ago, and for me under "hobbies/interests" I see "foreign languages."

I suppose one of these days I'll have to call up the lady in charge of the directory and say "Ummm... could you change that from 'foreign languages' to... ummm... blogging...? Thanks."


Cyn Bagley said...

I learned enough German (when I was in Germany) to get food... and get understood. Not a brilliant conversationalist.. although it was always funny when Germans tried to tell jokes.

It is not their thing and very difficult to do with their language. LOL

Cyn Bagley said...

cl... how were you able to add a new header??? or... would you like to make a header for "Scrambled Sage on Toast?"

Cyn Bagley said...

my email address is

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Cynthia!!!

I can show you what I did to add a new header. It was some rudimentary trial-and-error fiddling with the template. But really I know very little about how to set up a new blog design, my drawing skills are limited as you can see ;-) and my graphic design skills are essentially nil...

I would suggest asking a New Eric for suggestions. He's always doing cool new stuff with his masthead. His blog was the one where I stole the idea to just stick with the plain, white template and just change the masthead... ;-)

Doug Humphries has a cool masthead too.

I can do favicons though!!! (You know, the tiny icon next to the blog name in the browser's tab or menu.) I'd be happy to make you a favicon for your new blog if you like. :D

Rebecca said...

I always like to hear about other people not having the discipline for something. It makes me feel better about my lack of discipline. But then I have to get all introspective and wonder why, instead of developing discipline, I just try to find examples of other people who also lack discipline. And then I feel kind of bad, so it would probably really be better to break that cycle.

C. L. Hanson said...

If you're struggling with difficult goals, there's something to be said for reminding yourself that it's not as if everybody else is perfect. ;^)

Then get out there and try, try again!!! :D

Cyn Bagley said...

cl.. hanson.. I would love a flavicon from you :-)

C. L. Hanson said...


As soon as you have a look and color scheme ready for your new blog, I'll make a favicon for you and show you the one little line to add to your template to make it show up. :D

BTW, your new fiction/writing blog sounds like a great idea, and I'll be happy to participate in the discussion!!!

Cyn Bagley said...

That is great... if you want to do a guest host someday... about developing colorful characters maybe??? Just let me know.

C. L. Hanson said...

Okay, I'll work on thinking of something!!! :D

Anonymous said...


oh i would so love to be able to read Diabolik. I got into the genre after watching the Cartoon series (i know, i know) now being 24 i know i don't have the time to learn italian. found 6 english versions of the comic, but seems they are no longer in print (sob) Wish they would start publishing them in english.

Kind regards Rowena

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Rowena!!!

That's funny -- I had no idea there was a cartoon!!! The comic books are a little silly (as explained above) but still fun... ;^)