- Men after our hearts – Sofagirl once told me she had met Clive Owen and she wouldn’t have minded further deepening their acquaintance (not her actual choice of words). I will confess I started watching “The Knick” on Cinemax because of Clive Owen (and of Steven Soderbergh directing) and I am now hooked. A bit gruesome but, according to a surgeon friend, a very faithful insight on the state of surgery at the turn of the last century. And it makes you very thankful to be born way later: while they performed safe abortions much they way they still do, the chances of surviving a C-section were zero.
Fall is here, the weather is getting cooler (sort of) and tv is good again so, if it sounds like I am spending my time on the couch, well, I am – at least the evenings. So much for my social life. But, after “Homeland” and the spectacularly bipolar Claire Danes, Showtime is now offering “The Affair” with Dominic West. That the authors could take something as sordid and predictable as an affair between two people and turn it into a master study of how memory works and a bit of a mystery, it’s a stroke of genius. And did I mention Dominic West is in it?
- Vintage jewellery – Wouldn’t you wear this necklace? Some lucky woman did, about 2,000 years ago. Alas, it is not for sale but was spotted during a tour of the Pompei Exhibitions at the California Science Center in Downtown LA. During the semi-private visit, I asked if I could also see the shuttle Endeavor, which was recently retired at the Science Center. The guide indulged me and, even from the depths of my ignorance on anything space related, I was in awe of this giant monster that went into space 25 times. I live in a country where the best hospital in Texas cannot keep its health workers safe but we tool around the universe in style. Can’t have it all.
- Job applications – Growing up in Italy, I revered Rolling Stone. Jan Wenner and Hunter S. Thompson became mythical figures in my teen imagination and, twice a month, I would shell out my allowance on imported copies of the magazine. I can’t quite say I understood everything Hunter Thompson was on about – cultural gap and a shakier English had something to do with it – but I could tell some genius was lurking between the lines. I came across this letter, from the website Boingboing, that Thompson wrote at the beginning of his career to try to land a newspaper job. I don’t believe he was hired but he should have been.
- Neatness – My desk is a deceptive example of tidiness. At the end of the day, everything gets stacked neatly in piles and arranged in containers. But when I am looking for something specific, it becomes apparent my organizational system has giant holes in it. My stable of Apple products, in particular, is a jumble mess of cords, and it doesn’t help that Apple keeps on changing the size of their charging “holes”. So when I saw this cordies cable manager from Quirky, a couple of days ago, in the Home pages of the Times, I scribbled down a note to order it. Only $4.99 to keep all the cords organized. Whether the note will ever be found again, it’s a different matter.
- Friends – Not the tv show. My friends, and yours. As I am about to fly to Europe after a two year absence, I contacted friends here and there that I haven’t seen in a long time and I was surprised, and a bit humbled, that everyone sprung into action so swiftly: restaurants have been booked, spare rooms have been dusted, reunions have been organized and without me lifting a single finger, and some of these are people I haven’t seen in two decades. That left me thinking that 1. I have great taste in people and a perfectly functioning radar to recognize the good ones; 2. that to have left even a little mark on somebody’s heart is an accomplishment and a great self-esteem booster 3. we should never stop watering the friendship plants. They yield the most beautiful flowers.