What It Is: 8/2/10

What I’m reading: Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, Bob Colacello’s bio of Andy Warhol. I also updated the On My Nightstand page, if you’re interested in seeing other books I hope to get to. Here’s a little bit from Mr. Colacello’s book:

Sometimes I wonder if Andy wanted it to work. I wonder if any of it — the video projects, Interview, even the movies, anything other than the art and the selling of the art — was meant to be serious. Paul was serious about the movies, Glenn and I cared about the magazine, Vincent was committed to coming up with a TV show that worked — but was Andy? He certainly never minded the typos and other mistakes in Interview. “Why do you have to spend so much time proofreading?” he’d always ask. He liked things to be “bad,” he liked things to be “boring” — concepts that may or may not have worked in the realm of art, but were not of much use in the movies, magazines, or television. Sometimes I found this attitude refreshing; other times it was just discouraging. If Andy didn’t really care whether anything came of our efforts, then how should we Maybe all these side businesses were just a way to keep himself busy, to surround himself with creative young people, to put friends on the payroll, to run up expenses and tax deductions against the art profits, to promote the sale of art and make Andy more famous, to spend the days and kill the nights, to ward off his fear and anxiety and emotional distress, to not be alone.

Or maybe Andy genuinely believed that if we took ourselves too seriously, fretted and sweated and tried to be professional instead of just doing it fast and easy and cheap, the end result would be stale and dull instead of turning out different and modern, magic and new.

What I’m listening to: Sir Lucious Left Foot, Rattlesnakes, You Could Start a Fight in an Empty House, Night Work, Walking Wounded, We Are Born, and Spirit of Radio.

What I’m watching: Zombieland and A Single Man. Reviews tomorrow!

What I’m drinking: Stella Artois, and 209 & Q-Tonic, although I didn’t drink much last week.

What Rufus & Otis are up to: Hiking! To Ramapo Lake! And Monksville Reservoir! (and then sleeping a lot.) And getting into their first-ever fight on Sunday! I fed them and went downstairs to read, figuring they’d follow me down after they finished. Instead, I heard loud barking. Near as I can tell, Rufus, as is his wont, finished his bowl quickly and headed over to Otis’ to get whatever bits his brother left behind. Maybe he pushed for the bowl a little too early, because it seems Otis wasn’t having any of it. By the time I ran upstairs, Ru was standing in the middle of the living room, with a little nibble taken out of his cheek, tail pretty firmly stuck between his legs. I looked them both over for any other wounds, but didn’t find anything. Ru hurried down the hall and stayed with his mom for a while. I’m glad Otis stuck up for himself, because I’m always telling Ru to leave him in peace when they’re eating. Sigh.

Where I’m going: Scotch Bowl next Saturday! Charity bowling night for our greyhound adoption group, Greyhound Friends of NJ!

What I’m happy about: Taking last Thursday and Friday off, and not once looking at my work e-mail, checking my voice-mail, or otherwise staying on top of work.

What I’m sad about: I’m going back to the office today.

What I’m worried about: The dogs will eventually figure out that jumping into the back of the car sometimes leads to long-ass, overheating hikes, and they’ll stop being so willing to head off on any old adventure involving the Subaru. On the other hand, my wife is pretty sure Otis is flat-out retarded (this post convinced her), so the chances of them figuring this out are pretty slim, I guess.

What I’m pondering: Undertaking another ruthless purge of my bookcases. Is it an overreaction to my impending 40th birthday, this compulsion to look at a stack of books and tell myself, “You will never have time in the remainder of your days to read (or re-read) this book”? How do other people deal with their mid-life-thing? I sure don’t want to end up like Stewart Lee.

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