What It Is: 7/19/10

What I’m reading: Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, Bob Colacello’s bio of Andy Warhol. I found that I couldn’t do much reading on the iPad. The Kindle app is fine, but I was sorta undone by the sheer amount of other stuff that the device can do. I mean, why read an e-book when I can catch up on e-mail, or RSS feeds, or watch a flick, etc.? So I think I’ll bring my Kindle with me on trips, too, just so I can focus on reading instead of multitasking the way the Pad invites one to.

What I’m listening to: Sir Lucious Leftfoot . . . The Son of Chico Dusty, the new Big Boi record.

What I’m watching: Thanks to my iPad, I find I’m watching more movies, esp. on that five-hour flight home from Portland on Wed/Thu. On the way home, I watched (500) Days of Summer, Up, and about 40 minutes of Once In a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos. I rented Greenberg from iTunes while I was in Portland, with the notion of watching it on the flight home, but a 7-year-old girl and her dad were in the seats next to me, and I felt that might not be appropriate viewing if the kid sneaked a peek in my direction. And on Saturday, Amy & I went out to the IMAX theater to watch Inception. Instant reviews? No chance! You’ll have to wait till tomorrow! (On TV, we watched another 2 episodes of Louie on FX, which is so fantastic that it’ll surely be canceled, and the latest Deadliest Catch, in which Captain Phil gives up the ghost. And we watched American Splendor Sunday night to commemorate Harvey Pekar’s death last week.)

What I’m drinking: Well, now, that’s a story. For some reason, almost every restaurant or bar I visited in Portland turned out to be well-stocked with both local boutique gins and other lesser known brands. So I managed to have G&Ts of Bols Genever (the spiciest gin I’ve ever had), Dry Fly (the dominant note is Fiji apple, of all things), Organic Nation (clean, with nothing else to recommend it), and 12 Bridges (is that pine needle?), as well as the local brand Aviation, which I’ve had several times already. Given all that, you’d think I was wasted for the whole trip, but I managed to pace myself well, at least until the last day, when I had a little too much time on my hands and no driving to do.

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Missing me, and trying to stay out of the heat.

Where I’m going: Nowhere! Congratulate me! Although I am thinking of taking a day or two off this week and maybe hitting NYC to visit the Frick, Met, etc. I’ll let you know.

What I’m happy about: Getting to see some old friends while I was out in Portland, and also getting to visit Powell’s Books and Winn Perry, even though the latter was “between seasons” and I had to talk myself into picking up a Hentsch Man shirt and a tie.

What I’m sad about: That some of my friends seemed to be almost exactly who they were 15 years ago, in terms of subjects of conversation, art/books they’re interested in, etc.

What I’m worried about: That they thought the same thing about me.

What I’m pondering: Whether that’s the case. I like to think it’s not, and that I’ve changed in some unpredictable ways since 1993 or thereabouts, both in terms of emotional maturity and in aesthetics. I wonder if it’s possible that I’m more of a snob now but also less pretentious than I was back in my college years.

What It Is: 7/12/10

What I’m reading: Not a lot; just some Scott Pilgrim comics. I was kinda zonky all week with lack of sleep, pain from that root canal, etc.

What I’m listening to: Songs from the Capeman, Songs from Venice Beach, and some other songs.

What I’m watching: Shutter Island, some episodes of Louie (wow!), and The Horse’s Mouth and Up In The Air. I’m sorta astonished at the utter hollowness of Up In The Air, compared to the novel. The movie pays almost no attention to what The Traveling Life is really like, focusing instead on Firing People Is Soul-Destroying. The romance was inane, compared to the apocalypse of the narrator’s affair. And while Clooney’s starting to age, a man his age who travels that much should’ve been much sallower/puffier. The skin turns green from all that airplane air & light, people! But that’s nitpicking. The real problem is that the story they chose to tell was barely an echo of what made the novel a surprisingly good book, and instead became a George Clooney vehicle and a muddled statement about corporate America that couldn’t criticize any particular company because the studio relies on them for subsidies and product placement fees.

What I’m drinking: Bluecoat & Q-Tonic, but I didn’t drink too much last week; I was taking mega-ibuprofen to help treat that root canal, and didn’t want to risk stomach bleeding.

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Ru’s still getting over that blister on his paw-pad, so he didn’t go anywhere during the week. Otis has gone stir crazy and now runs up and down the hall at high speed, throwing his squeaky toys in the air and acting like they’re alive.

Where I’m going: Flying home on the redeye Wednesday/Thursday, and I hope to go nowhere else for a while.

What I’m happy about: Getting an iPad last Friday. Holy crap, is this a fantastic device. I decided to pick it up before the Portland trip to see if it could replace my laptop for a light work-week (that is, a trip in which I wouldn’t be doing heavy-duty “live from the conference” posts for my magazine’s website, or processing photos). I packed along a bluetooth keyboard for writing longer form stuff like this, but it’s just been fantastic so far. I watched Horse’s Mouth and Up in the Air on the flight out here, and only ran down about 12% of the battery. Go, future!

What I’m sad about: Something better will come along.

What I’m worried about: Whether I’ll have time to get to Powell’s, Stumptown, and Winn Perry while I’m in Portland. I’m also hoping I get to meet up with my various friends (that is, friends from all different portions of my life) who live out here.

What I’m pondering: Whether Spain is really better than the Netherlands. All I can say is, I had much more fun in my weekend in Amsterdam than I did in 5 days in Madrid.