Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: I definitely get what y'all were saying about this movie's difficulty, and my experience of the first half hour or so made me go, "Oh, so it's that kind of party!" It was convoluted, but then it sort of opened up. I think it teaches you how to watch it--the way it circles back to the same episodes, sometimes with new information or a different perspective--and I wound up really enjoying it. I had read one of the other George Smiley books, but I don't think it was necessary to have done so. You just gotta kinda relax on who exactly is who at first and just roll with it. Loved Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch! He is a force. Ditto Tom Hardy. And Colin Firth was great but he and I just have too much history for me to really embrace him in every role.
Sardines: I eat them pretty much every day. My life no longer works without them.
New Frontline series, "Money, Power, and Wall Street": I watched the first part of this online today. You should check it out. I know what credit default swaps are now. I mean, I kind of knew before, back when This American Life did a totally heroic job of explaining, but now I really get it and can even see why they seemed like a good idea one time.
College Inn Thai Coconut Curry Broth: I think if you live in the mid-Atlantic region you can find this stuff at Publix stores. By the time I was wise to it, they were phasing it out of the places around me. Y'all, you need this. I mean, assuming you like these flavors. It is so easy to cut up some veggies and cook them in this broth and feel all fancy. Maybe throw in some mushrooms and onion, and like Carl Weathers says, you got a stew goin'! But getting your hands on it is the trick. I actually went and "liked" College Inn on facebook, which made me feel like kind of a tool, just so I could ask where to find this delicious broth. And I was one of legions with the same question. It finally came in stock on amazon and I ordered a case.
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis: The title makes it sound a little more cutthroat than it is, but his point is that a big part of the game is mental, and that there is almost always a way to win if you watch your opponent and match your strengths to her weaknesses. He has a great section on how to neutralize the games of different types of players. I gave it to my bud T and she is giving it to our team captain. Plus this guy's tone is kind of adorably humble and journeyman-like. He's all, "Get Granddad some more whiskey and I'll tell you how I made John McEnroe retire one time. For six months he wouldn't do nothing 'cept swear at the TV."
The Inner Game of Tennis: This is just straight up good, like, for living. It was published in 1974, before a lot of the Zen-and-the-art-of ideas of mindfulness became atmospheric. So some of this, we have soaked up. Like, observe yourself without judging yourself, that kind of thing. He has this great part about how we can't improve until we can really see our game and our shots clearly, and that a coach should just help you to see. I think this idea of seeing clearly is, of course, bigger than tennis.
Different things help different people, but one practical tip that really stuck in my head was this: when you're going to hit a forehand groundstroke, imagine that you are going to swat the ball with your hand, how you would pull back your hand, where you would make contact, and how you would follow through across your body. Swing the racquet like you were hitting the ball with your hand. I don't know, that cut through a lot of overthinking for me.
Hank's new habit of calling me "Momsy": Adorable. And disarming.
Meat: I mean, we've been eating less meat all around and definitely less red meat, but every now and then I'm reminded that meat has power. Matt loves my soup concoctions and the broccoli dish and all that, but tonight I made him a steak au poivre, using the Good Eats recipe, and when he walked into the kitchen and saw it, he just gathered me up in a tight, wordless hug. Meat can do that.
Anything you need to share/sound-off on?