Dick Cheney's Memoir
Published on September 1, 2011 by Sara Foss

Dick Cheney's memoir just came out and, no, I don't plan to read it, because I never read political memoirs.

However, I'm enjoying reading what people have to say about it, and I especially enjoyed this news report, which informs us that Condoleezza Rice became the third Bush administration official to accuse Cheney of lying in the memoir titled "In My Time." According to Reuters, Rice said that she "kept the president fully and completely informed about every 'in and out' of the negotiations with the North Koreans," "countering the former vice president's assertion that Rice misled the president about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea."

Wait, you mean Cheney's kind of a jerk? Who knew?

Over at Harper's, Scott Horton posted a list of questions reporters should ask Cheney, about incidents that aren't really discussed in the book, and that "Cheney would perhaps rather not recollect." My favorite involves a relatively minor incident: the time Cheney shot his hunting buddy in the face.



Poetic Interlude
Published on September 1, 2011 by Sara Foss

Last week the New York Times printed an obituary for Nazik al-Malaika, one of the Arab world's most famous poets. Here's an excerpt:

"In a country riven by sectarian strife, her life and work as a poet and a literary critic were poignant reminders of Iraq’s cultural renaissance in the mid-20th century. Baghdad was then considered the Paris of the Middle East, and poets and artists flocked here to work.

Ms. Malaika was one of a small group of Iraqi poets who broke away from classical Arab poetry, with its rigid metric and rhyme schemes. Influenced by the writing of Shakespeare, Byron and Shelley as well as by classical Arabic poets, these poets took up modern topics and used lyrical language that spoke with the immediacy of life on the Arab street."

The Times also printed al-Malaika's poem "To Wash Disgrace," which the paper describes as a "searing poem about honor killings." Here it is:


Oh mother, a rattle, tears and darkness

Blood gushed out, and the stabbed body trembled.

“Oh mother!” Heard only by the executioner

Tomorrow the dawn will come and roses will wake up

Youth and enchanted hopes will ask for her

The meadows and the flowers will answer:

She left to wash the disgrace.

The brutal executioner returns

And meets people

“Disgrace!” He wipes his knife

“We’ve torn it apart.”

And returned virtuous with a white reputation.

Have a Cocktail
Published on September 1, 2011 by Sara Foss

The Boston chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails has helpfully posted a recipe for Pimm's Cup, a cocktail that was "born in England and reinterpreted in New Orleans." I first drank a Pimm's Cup at a Mississippi River-themed wedding, and it was quite good. To learn more about it, click here.

Watching "Terri"
Published on September 1, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about the new film "Terri," from talented young director Azazel Jacobs. I didn't think the film was as good as Jacobs' previous film, "Momma's Man," but it's worth checking out. Here's an excerpt:

"'Terri' is a sensitive film, with a great eye for detail. We watch as Terri sets mousetraps in the attic and gives his uncle his medicine. Unlike most films about high school, 'Terri' understands that some students have bigger concerns than whether they can find a date to the prom, and that some students aren’t even all that interested in going to prom."

Oh my god, those waves are amazing
Published on September 1, 2011 by Sara Foss

I am a body surfer, but not a surfer. Nevertheless, I find this footage of the massive waves off the coast of Tahiti, and the professional surfers who "participated in what some observers described as the most incredible and intense big-wave session ever recorded," according to, pretty amazing. Here's a link to an article and video of this awesome surf.

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