THE DF&C AND DOGSI did a big house cleaning the other day because I found myself again accumulating too much stuff and figure I'll be shutting down the old pied-à-terre sometime next year and heading for the mountains for good.
Among the stuff that I gifted the big dumpster at a nearby apartment complex was an HP printer that is a bad memory of when I still was a PC slave, three or so years of e-mail printouts that for the life of me I can't remember why I printed out, a bunch of road maps of places I hope to never return to, and a large-format map of downtown Baghdad which I taped to the wall over the desk in the early years of the Iraq war in an effort to better understand the terrain that I was blogging about.
Alas, I never really did.
* * * * *You know that your dogs are smart when you can't say, let alone spell out, words like walk, swim, eat or ball without them waking from what you thought were deep sleeps and madly wagging their tails.
And so the Dear Friend & Conscience and I have to improvise. Ball become canine orb, and so on and so forth.* * * * *It's obvious that we live in difficult times when someone writes that they hope Sarah Palin is elected president so she can drive the country the rest of the way into the ground and the rebuilding can then begin in earnest.* * * * *There's an old saying among investigative journalists: If it seems too good to be true then it probably isn't. Perhaps the saying isn't merely old, but obsolete.
Bloggers and other commentators swallowed whole a claim on the blog A Gay Girl in Damascus that the blog's Syrian-American lesbian author, caught up in the pro-democracy protest movement, had been detained in the Syrian capital.
Well no, because it was revealed over the weekend as a work of fiction by a 40-year-old American man. And yes, the revelation came in the form of an apology by the man and not because of any journalistic truth-seeking.* * * * *We finally saw Black Swan the other night. Natalie Portman was superb both acting, of which there was an abundance, and dancing, of which there was far too little. I should say that we finally saw most of Black Swan, because it was just too intense.
The world is screwed up enough without sitting through two hours of nagging by an obsessive former ballerina mother, mind forking by an artistic director and an obsessive relationship between the Portman character and a fellow ballerina who forces her to get in touch with her dark side.
All that said, Portman certainly deserved her Best Actress Oscar, but The Red Shoes is more our speed.* * * * *Had my annual physical the other day and learned that I'd lost 15 pounds over the last 12 months without trying to. The reasons: Less snacking, fewer take-out meals and falling head over heels for Tuscan cooking, which I now do regularly with from-scratch ingredients except the pasta.
Tuscan cooking is a match made in heaven: Delicious and nutritious fare that for the most part is light compared to other Italian cooking and uses ingredients that I especially love like seafood, nuts and herbs.