What is it with Mrs. L and Mr. V? I heard her on Brian Lehrer talking about taste being the most provocative stimulus of memory (I’d vote for smell or sound, myself), and when it came time to drop a chef’s name, guess whose was trotted out yet again. I absolutely doubt the Friendship is curdling, but it is odd. And of course I only bring this up because I was recently asked to blurb a book by a blogger I have never met, only to be advised by his handlers that my terse praise was not used “in the hopes that your editors” may “allow you to write about” the opus. Undoubtedly it was a face-saving excuse, but even words that wind up on the cutting room floor count in my estimation — a phantom blurb should haunt you more than one in print.