diamonds from sierra leone

Dear Hollywood,

Please get uncut diamonds right just once.

I know you want to portray a secret world of rich people above the law, who use easily portable assets to hide their wealth. And, for some reason, negotiable bearer bonds aren’t as sexy as they once were. And that’s fine.

But please, just once, I would like you to get uncut diamonds right. Uncut diamonds do not sparkle. They do not glisten under a penlight gripped in the teeth of our sweaty hero. They do not look anything at all like regular diamonds. They look, to the untrained eye, like rocks.

Diamonds are Forever got this wrong. Blood Diamond got this wrong. Even Out of Sight got this wrong, which offends me even more because George Clooney has this terrific line to Steve Zahn in the first act of the movie, about how uncut diamonds look just like rocks, and yet at the end of the movie, OH LOOK, SHINIES.

The only form of entertainment media I’ve ever seen get this right was an episode of Pointman, a forgettable UPN action-drama starring Jack Scalia. Seriously, Hollywood. When Jack Scalia is your moral compass, something has fallen horribly awry.

# # #

I’ve started taking melatonin as a cold cure.

Now before you roll your eyes and start dialing Poison Control, read the rest of this: when you have a cold, you need healthy sleep more than anything else. So about an hour before bedtime these past two nights, I’ve taken 5 mg of melatonin to coax me into easier and deeper sleep.

I’ve taken stuff that makes me drowsy before: Benadryl, NyQuil, massive amounts of alcohol. But melatonin doesn’t make it harder to focus so much as it creates a general heaviness. Your limbs react just a little more slowly to your commands, and you just prefer to sit rather than stand or move. Imagine being put under by the world’s slowest hypnotist.

It’s worked fine for me so far: I’ve slept the night through without sitting bolt upright to hack out phlegm (as I did on Sunday). If anything, I’ve slept too efficiently. I find myself slowly waking at 6:00 AM or so, and have to force myself to sleep another hour. At that point I re-enter REM sleep and I’m groggy when the alarm clock goes off. A friend of mine from the public library I used to work at in Maryland would call this a “fat cat problem” and shake her head unsympathetically.


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