27 October 2008
Two weeks ago it was there, and then, today, it seemed not to be there, but then, there it was; the bundle of Berroco Smart Mohair in the delicious Blue Opal. Finding it was integral to the Christmas gift plot I'm about to launch: a knitted throw. For Mum. So when I began feeling anxious about not finding it, and then relief when I finally spotted it on a shelf, I thought, "I'd better get this right now, because, the next time, when I look for it, it will be gone!". I drove off feeling pretty pleased with myself for having had the foresight to cheat an imaginary and wholly unlikely fate, and this put me in mind of a phrase my mother has used once or twice in similar situations: Moscow Rules. This, supposedly, is exactly the sort of thing you say when you spot something you really want, embrace the "now", and resist dithering. This is exactly the sort of thing I never get the chance to say because I am always dithering when I should be succumbing to wild impulse. So today I succumbed and now I get to say, "Moscow Rules", except I have the fundamental decency to admit that I really have no idea what this means, so it seems a little hollow. I know what my mother thinks this means, and she claims to have cribbed this from someone who attended a pretty good school, has affluent parents, married exceptionally "well", and is pretty much known for succumbing to wild impulse. My rule, which has nothing to do with Moscow or any other Eastern European city is, "When in doubt, look it up", so I did.
The Moscow Rules, (the word "rules" is a noun here; bear in mind that Mom, et al are using it as a verb), refer to specific rules of engagement as developed by the CIA for use in espionage. They are as follows:
- Assume nothing.
- Never go against your gut.
- Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
- Don't look back; you are never completely alone.
- Go with the flow, blend in.
- Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
- Lull them into a sense of complacency.
- Don't harass the opposition.
- Pick the time and place for action.
- Keep your options open.
No good reason then to say "Moscow Rules" ever again, I think.
26 October 2008
We spent a pleasant Saturday recently touring the Walter Gropius house in Lincoln, MA. We were prohibited from taking photos inside the house, but that was really all to the good, as the interior shots taken from the exterior say a great deal more about the Gropius perspective on bringing the outside in, so to speak.