Less is More

When I left home I had a camping trunk, a handbag and one armful of hanging clothes. Now I have lots of stuff. When I get home I'm going to edit rapaciously.


Nader and Simin: A Separation

In the end, as in the beginning, how different is an Iranian family from an American family? Nader and Simin receives praise and a review here, and wins the Golden Bear Berlin Prize for best foreign film in 2011.  Yet when I pause to see the clips, and struggle with translations, I see humanity, not nationality.

And joy in the success of a sensitively drawn storyline:


The fountain pen universe is shrinking...again

It appears that both the Pear Tree and Swisher have closed their doors, and their internet sales operations, both within days of each other.

It is sad on many fronts. Sad because two more independent businesses have gone under, right after Pam at Oscar Braun also closed up shop, but sadder for those who love a good writing instrument that requires a little coddling--a fountain pen.

I've bought fountain pens many places, from many faces and for different reasons at various times in my life, and I can probably recount each and every event, if not blow by blow, or name the actual day, in a general way even with a weather report.

You might wonder why? Two reasons: I have a good memory, still, but mostly because I often bought myself a fountain pen as a birthday present. And perhaps a third reason: I often traveled on/around my birthday and bought pens along the way or even in stray places marking the event as doubly special.

But my first online purchase was with James at The Pear Tree, and my near to miss last purchase was intended to go to Swisher. My cart mysteriously emptied sometime during the last few days.

I also bought several wonderful pens at Braun, the last of which was a resin Falcon with a SF nib--a beauty by nearly anyone's standards and at a Pam special price.

Independent businesses are closing up faster than they begin, and this is a telling sign of our times--and these telltale signs "ain't" good at all.