We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Poached salmon with yoghurt dill sauce is one of our standards for bringing as our contribution to outdoor summer dinner parties. Asparagus is good on the side. Everybody loves it.
We also use this as our large group Christmas Eve after-church suppers for whoever is lucky enough to be invited to our place for supper around the fireplaces, with the tree (Christmas Eve requires seafood, and you can do this in the afternoon so it's ready when you get home.) One or two of those huge Costco filets, depending on numbers, is good to poach. Easy to do.
Recipe here. We poach the large filets intact and present them on a large tray. It's more appealing that way.
Saturday was New Haven, Sunday was NYC. Ah, Les Tres Riches Heures du Bird Dog. We went with dear friends to see DanceBrazil at the Joyce, then for early supper to the enjoyable and authentic Sicilian specialty restaurant Bar Eolo on 7th Ave. (Ask me for menu tips.)
We hadn't realized it was the day of the Gay Pride march on the West Side. By the time we sat down for supper outside, swarms - thousands - of gays were moving back uptown from their destination which I think had been the West Village. "Hi, Happy Pride!" Anyway, it made for some entertaining and curious people-watching. I told Mrs. BD that my Mom would have loved that scene which seems exotic to me. My question was why and how do so many gays (male or female) look gay. No Gaydar required, believe me. It's, like, obvious.
I suspect my buddy expected me as a wacko Christian conservative (ie Evil Right Wing Nazi) to be hostile or uncomfortable. Naw. Christians get a kick (mostly) out of all of God's creation. It was just strange, and a colorful spectacle. I can say that we four felt like aliens from a straight bourgeois planet - which was fine. Overall, fun. Do male gays add more to life than those grim-looking lesbians with their fat girlfriends? I tend to think so. However, I saw a handful of those lesbian marchers whose feminine charms, IMO, were going to waste and I said so.
DanceBrazil was something else. Mrs. BD gave me some words: Muscular, acrobatic, quick, primitive, full-body dancing. She said they were all ballet-trained, but probably lifted weights too. These men and women are seriously strong. Exhausting to watch because of the intense physicality. Very good, high-energy high-intensity stuff. Here's a clip from them a couple of years ago.
Also, a few random pics below the fold - but none of the gay parade people really.
We live in a world where Bobby Jindal is a fake Indian, but it’s racist to say an older white woman isn’t a real one (the correct term being “Native American,” of course). Nikki Haley is a villain for “suppressing” her Indian roots, but Sen. Ted Cruz is a fraud for touting his Cuban roots. (Cruz was recently grilled by Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin about how authentically Cuban he really is. At least Halperin later apologized).
Dr. Friedman's discussion is excellent and interesting. One quote:
Lieberman does not discuss how complex a task it is to understand people. His clinical vignettes are uplifting, but often avoid discussing really difficult clinical problems. These difficult clinical issues often stem from severe ambivalence, a psychiatric and psychoanalytic concept. Many patients behave in ways that are inconsistent, and seem to seek opposite goals simultaneously. Often they express opposite feelings at the same time, or in rapid succession. There is no single “modern method” for assisting someone who simultaneously loves and also hates her child, or his sexual companion.
There are, however, a number of therapeutic techniques, most of which have been based on the clinical insights of pioneering psychoanalyst-psychiatrists. There is no pill, no descriptive solution to the conundrum of helping this type of patient, especially since she or he may be prone to “loving but also hating” the physician as well. The patient may in fact need a diagnostician who understands irrational motivation—an area Lieberman also avoids.
Here's how my mother-in-law does it. Slice tomato, then a whole large Basil leaf, then a slice of mango, then a thin slice of mozzarella. Repeat. She runs it down in slightly-slanted rows on a platter. Repeat in rows until platter is filled. A little salt and a drizzle of oil and vinegar on top.
It is true that blood cholesterol has nothing to do with arterial disease or heart disease but you can still find physicians checking peoples' cholesterol. I take my Lipitor not for trigycerides but because it seems to prevent heart attacks by some other kind of magic.
Medical and non-medical erroneous or pseudoscientific enthusiasms can last a generation because they infect the culture. Red meat and salt-avoidance, for examples. The 8 Stages of Scam
I recently saw a relative get into big trouble by believing the old "salt is bad" admonition. Skepticism is the best default setting in life.
The Greeks, more even than the Romans, show us how to question received opinion and authority. The earliest myths reveal mankind actively disputing the terms on which the Olympian gods want to rule them, and the philanthropic god Prometheus rebelling against Zeus in order to steal fire – a divine prerogative – and give it to mortal men. Sophocles’ Antigone refuses to accept her tyrannical uncle’s arbitrary edict, draws crucial distinctions between moral decency and contingent legislation, and buries her brother anyway. Aristophanes, in his democratic comedies, subjected politicians who wielded power to satire of eye-watering savagery. Socrates dedicated his life to proving the difference between the truth and received opinion, the unexamined life being, in his view, not worth living. No wonder Hobbes thought that reading Greek and Roman authors should be banned by any self-respecting tyrant, in Leviathan arguing that they foment revolution under the slogan of liberty, instilling in people a habit “of favouring uproars, lawlessly controlling the actions of their sovereigns, and then controlling those controllers”.
We spent most of yesterday over in New Haven to have lunch with old friends and to catch a remarkable one-woman performance of the autobiographical "As I Remember It" at the Yale Rep by the unique modern dancer/actress/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade.
At 84, she is vividly theatrical, charismatic, humorous and sassy. She can still do more than just indicate dance movements. She can move. Her lifelong husband Geoffrey Holder died last year, but she is still truckin. Lives in Manhattan.
Mrs. BD was thrilled to meet and chat with this iconic dancer at a special reception afterwards, because she has mentioned her to me admiringly many times over the years. In person, de Lavallade is elegant, modest and charming, in great shape, and loves hors d'oevres. No surprise to me that she was hungry for treats and wine after holding the stage alone for 1 1/2 hours.
We had an hour or more to stroll around downtown New Haven and old Eli, which all looks better than it has in my lifetime. My pal, like my Dad, went to grad school there and never left the university. New Haven is a clearly Town and Gown city. The gown part is a strong and large faculty social club (which includes some local professionals outside the Yale community), as it has been for hundreds of years. Much of New Haven is blue collar or urban poor and there are parts you might not want to go to.
Somehow, the tired old city still has a handful of exclusive old jolly Waspy clubs for bow-tie wearing men. How did those survive? They do not run the city anymore - retreated into their private lives and gave it to the townies to screw it up with property taxes and oppression of job-creators.
Yes, Greeks do eat a lot of "Village Salad." It does call for Greek olive oil (often considered lousy oil except by the Greeks), which is somehow different from Italian even though the olives are the same.
Greeks, like the north africans, don't really do "extra virgin" or any of that fancy stuff.
Mary sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step, She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage To meet him in the doorway with the news And put him on his guard. ‘Silas is back.’ She pushed him outward with her through the door And shut it after her. ‘Be kind,’ she said. She took the market things from Warren’s arms And set them on the porch, then drew him down To sit beside her on the wooden steps.
‘When was I ever anything but kind to him? But I’ll not have the fellow back,’ he said. ‘I told him so last haying, didn’t I? If he left then, I said, that ended it. What good is he? Who else will harbor him At his age for the little he can do?