Showing posts from December, 2008

New Year's Eve at Pietrasanta

Had a great New Year's Eve dinner at Pietrasanta - here are the appetisers, including a great Tuscan seafood soup (Caciucco alla Livornese). Happy New Year one and all!

Mercury rising

Also, the news that Jeremy Piven may have gotten an overdose of mercury made me look up the FDA guidelines on mercury , including how much fish one can eat in a week. No more than 1 weekly serving of swordfish or shark, apparently. And perhaps not too much of "certain species of very large tuna". Not that anyone should be eating too much shark or tuna anyway, what with overfishing and all.

Kite flying

Spotted what seemed like a Brahimny kite flying outside my office window today. Really dazzling to watch it soar.

Making a List, and Checking It Twice

One of the things I was discussing with my friends in New York is how surreal, albeit gratifying, it is to see college friends actually in the news - whether because they've written books, made films, or analysed politics. Lo and behold, what should come in my inbox this week but a twofer. Congrats to Sugi for having Love Marriage be on the Washington Post's best fiction of 2008 list , and to Franklin for the writeup in Entertainment Weekly on the Black List .


Sometimes words that are perfectly useful seem to fall out of favour in English. Such as "fortnight" among Americans. Such is the case with " masher ", which I recalled when doing an old New York Times crossword that brought up the lovely phrase "mash note", and which refers, apparently, to "a man who thinks himself irresistible to the female sex but whose advances are often unwelcome" - I can't think of a good word that can be used as a synonym for that. All that comes to mind are phrases such as "would-be lothario". Or "quixotic Don Juan", which at least makes a double-Don literary reference. There should be a way to rescue and rehabilitate useful words that have inexplicably lost their standing as respectable members of the English vocabulary. Society for the Preservation of Words, or suchlike. (Aside: searching Google for "Society for the Preservation of Words", without the inverted commas/quote marks, broug