What It Is: 6/7/10

What I’m reading: Pattern Recognition

What I’m listening to: Around the World in a Day, Wake Up the Nation, and The Finest Thing

What I’m watching: Extract and In The Loop

What I’m drinking: Budweiser Select 55. Don’t judge me. I was at an impromptu crawfish boil. See?


What Rufus & Otis are up to: Gallivanting with their pals Ruby & Willow while we were away for the weekend in Louisiana (see the pictures!). Also, getting used to their new beds. Rufus is settling into his, but Otis has never had a new bed before, and is unaccustomed to its thickness. He tends to slide off of it, like a fat guy trying to get on an inflatable raft.

Where I’m going: Chicago & Madison, WI for a client’s press event. For two-and-a-half days. The last day will include a three-hour bus-ride to Madison, and a Madison-to-Milwaukee-to-Newark flight home.

What I’m happy about: Not dying from eating a bad crawfish.

What I’m sad about: That only two of my friends sent me this Slate story about gin the moment they saw it. I expected at least a half-dozen of you to forward that to me.

What I’m worried about: Well, I was worried about my eyesight, because I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my contacts in the past few weeks. If I read on the computer or the iPhone for a little while, I found my eyes just couldn’t focus well. Only this morning did I discover that my optometrist, or the contact lens company, sent half of this year’s lenses in my standard prescription, and the other half with a stronger prescription. So, for 6 weeks, I’ve been using lenses that are too strong for my eyes. Grar.

What I’m pondering: How much my life has changed since I first read Pattern Recognition. I wrote about it in the very early days of this blog (Feb. 2003), and was pretty dismissive. Now I find it much more fulfilling, even if one of my earlier critiques holds up (the McGuffin is still too similar to that of his second novel). I’m no longer so sensitive about its 9/11-ness, and my own awareness/interest in fashion and corporate brands has helped inform this re-reading of the book. The really jarring thing this time was the first chapter or so, which felt embarrassingly like “SF writer not quite ready to downshift into a here-and-now setting.” The opening descriptions feel like they’re from another novel, before he got the hang of writing about “the present.” But I’m much more forgiving, this time around.

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