Happy New Year!
I’m wading through The Tragedy of the American Military by James Fallows for The Atlantic’s current issue. I expect Mr. Fallows’ thorough review of the sorry state of our interface with those we have hired to fight our battles will matter in the near future. I also expect it won’t matter nearly enough!
Mario Cuomo died on January 1, 2015. Here from the New York Times is Adam Nagourney’s excellent obituary. The other piece I read that really resonated was The legacy of Mario Cuomo’s 1984 ‘Tale of Two Cities’ speech by Andrei Cherny for Yahoo News.
We live in a world that no longer appreciates great men and women, unless they have been presidents, rock stars, or legends. I recall learning about Mario Cuomo by reading Forest Hills Diary: The Crisis of Low-Income Housing in the mid-1970s. (Yes, I was a geek; thank G-d none of my geekiness left me with an urge to run for public office.) I realized, even as a teenager, that Mr. Cuomo was one smart, exceptional man. Watching him become a really big deal, and reading about him now, I know he was exceptional. Godspeed!
I can’t quite let go of The Rise and Fall of Charm in American Men by Benjamin Schwarz. Written for The Atlantic in May 2013, I first saw it several days ago. Worth a read, guys! Charm may not be everything, but a little bit can’t hurt.
For Slate, John Ore shared Why I’ve Given up Alcohol Every January for the Last Eight Years. I can relate, having given up alcohol for the first quarter of 2014. There was one family dinner with visitors from back East, a glass of wine with a Book Festival author-guest in March, and I did quit a week early in March so I could enjoy a trip to San Diego; otherwise, dry as the desert in late June. I caught sh*t just last night at trivia, for my mates still claim my quitting caused the loss of the 2014 first half season. Alas, I’m a fan of real tests associated with behavioral change, if only because they require focus and commitment.
Take a look at An Insider’s Guide to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco by Maggie Hoffman for SeriousEats.com, from December 22. Rest assured that, on my next trip to San Francisco, being gluten-free will be “on vacation” for a day or three.