What It Is: 8/16/10

What I’m reading: I finished Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, the Scott Pilgrim comics, and The Playwright, a comic written by Daren White and drawn by Eddie Campbell. I enjoyed The Playwright a lot more than I enjoyed Campbell’s last big comic that he wrote himself, The Fate of the Artist, and it was a much more satisfying book than the ill-conceived adaptation of The Black Diamond Detective Agency. I need to go back and re-read The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard to see if I was judging that one too harshly. Anyway, I also re-read Wilson, which I enjoyed just as much as I did when I read it in May, and went back to Matt LaBash’s essay collection, Fly Fishing with Darth Vader, but that’s partly in the interest of clearing off my nightstand. I haven’t thought about what book I want to commit to next.

What I’m listening to: A random mix of singles and albums, none of which are coming to mind right now.

What I’m watching: Greenberg, Notting Hill, Matchstick Men, and District 9. I’ll try to write about them tomorrow.

What I’m drinking: Whitley Neill and Q-Tonic.

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Visiting their golden retriever cousins in Connecticut, then taking a long greyhound hike the next day up at Wawayanda state park.

Where I’m going: Nowhere! Amy managed to get Monday and Tuesday off, so I tweaked the remainder of my vacation schedule to match that, but I think we’re just gonna stay in and do some house stuff and otherwise try to take it easy.

What I’m happy about: Learning that one of my pals is the subject of a new Paris Review Writers at Work interview. And clearing out a shelf and a half of books by admitting to myself that I will never write a novel about the epistemological implications of the Enigma machine and what it means to decode something. Even though it means I have to give up on using the title Tales from the Cryptanalyst. Which I still think is awesome.

What I’m sad about: One of the people on our grey-hike learned she has throat cancer and is getting what sounds like pretty aggressive radiation treatment.

What I’m worried about: What I may find when I’m cleaning out the attic today.

What I’m pondering: How you separate the questions, “What is the meaning of life?” and “Do you believe in an afterlife?”, both of which were posed to me by another person on our grey-hike on Sunday. She’s “conducting an informal poll,” as she put it, on the former question, and it struck me that it’s difficult to talk about that without making assumptions about the latter question.

Lucky Seven

On this day seven years ago, I was

Now I’m

  • married,
  • living in my ancestral home, with lots of room for books,
  • keeping my weight around 40 lbs. below its peak,
  • retired as a book publisher,
  • working on the 100th issue of my magazine,
  • not planning any major trips,
  • starting Eddie Campbell’s Alec: The Years Have Pants, and
  • glad that I finished reading Gould’s Book of Fish, even though the other two books fell by the wayside.

And seven years ago today, I started this blog.

The world and I have gone through plenty of changes since that day. I’m happy that I’ve had Virtual Memories to help me try to chronicle it. To paraphrase Tony Kornheiser, I’ll try to do better next time.

Bonus: And we’re celebrating by having some glass guys remove the big smoked-mirror wall in our living room (installed by my dad, c.1989). Good thing they didn’t break any of those panels, or it’d be seven years of bad blogging ahead!