At the movies

Went to see Lion tonight. Didn’t know much about it, but it was here and it was in ENGLISH.

So, so, so good.

Highly recommended.

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An oddity or two

You have to admit, this isn’t the sort of thing that happens every day.

Apparently, this is the best toothbrush on the planet. I may have to try it.



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Le weekend and beyond

Trump’s attacks on the media are nothing new. They’ve been employed by dictators throughout history, and they are chilling. One of the most important essays I’ve read in a great long while explains.

On an entirely different note, I’ve learned how to print my own postage stamps, courtesy of La Poste! This may herald a new era of actual snail mail. Or it may not. Also on the list: how to print them so they are STRAIGHT.

Had a wonderful, carb-overflowing lunch yesterday at a favorite place, the Auberge du Dully. For mysterious reasons, I seem to be very well known to the staff there . . . .

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A few good things




that I’ve been enjoying lately.

And . . .

the Instant Pot! Really enjoying experimenting with it. The IP FB page is crazy. Made me late to work at least once 😉



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ER, part 1



Addressing the women’s division of the United Jewish Appeal just after the Second World War, in 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “We let our consciences realize too late the need of standing up against something that we knew was wrong. We have therefore had to avenge it–but we did nothing to prevent it. I hope that in the future, we . . . remember that there can be no compromise . . . with the things we know are wrong.”

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Hillary’s speechwriter

Deserves a gigantic raise for this powerful speech. 

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A placeholder

I am trying to make time to update this blog more regularly. It’s a goal, at any rate.

I will soon upload my few pictures from Vilnius (the Jerusalem of the North, as it was called). I was very ill while I was there, so I didn’t get out much. But what I saw was beautiful and uplifting.

I am also delving deeper into my reading, especially about the Holocaust. This, particularly on account of being in Lithuania, where more Jews were killed, per capita, than in any other country during the Second World War. 

Watch this space.

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Ed Stringham is my new hero

This marvelous (I reckon at The New Yorker, that’s ‘marvellous’) passage is from Mary Norris’s Between You & Me:

“Ed Stringham, the head of the collating department [you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is], had been at The New Yorker for decades and had grown a hump on his back in the service of the magazine. He came into the office most days at about 3 p.m. He had an ambitious reading agenda, which he charted in a series of black-and-white composition books. He supplemented his reading with the art and the music of whatever culture he was into at the time. He had started with Greece, moved on to Rome, and approached every country in Europe methodically: France, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Faeroe Islands. He became especially involved in the literature of countries behind the Iron Curtain: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania.”

For the umpteenth time, I now resolve to be more methodical in my reading!

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From the bottom of the world


Or close enough! Have just arrived New Zealand to spend a few days with friends. They are going to show me a new part of the world. Cannot wait to see if the water does indeed go down the drain the other way 😉

The flights to get here were oh so long, but I managed to watch the entire second season of Broadchurch–that took up the entire flight from Newark to San Francisco–and to finish The Folded Clock (2 stars, at most), and to get about halfway through Dispatches from Pluto–highly recommended so far. The author moved from New York to Holmes County, Mississippi, my Dad’s birthplace. As Faulkner said, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.”1

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Plane reading

So grateful that I bought a book at the Geneva airport today, as I had all kinds of reading-related complications–magazines buried deep in my carry-on, which was crammed into an inaccessible overhead bin, couldn’t fit my paper copy of the Luminaries in any pocket, etc., etc.

I loved Patti Smith’s Just Kids, and I’d been wanting to read her latest, the National Book Award-winning M Train. And, indeed, there it was, in Payot, a paperback at the gobsmacking/completely normal Swiss price of 29,50 CHF. Snapped it up.

And I am so glad I did. Smith is an evocative, poetic, imaginative writer. She has read everything, and I do mean everything. 

I found myself making notes, scribbling lists, wanting to read everything she’s read.

Highly recommended. It even helped me cope with my cancelled flight and my spontaneous and expensive night at the Newark airport!

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