Sorry I’ve been outta the loop, dear reader. I was just in one of those not-writing-so-much phases. I can’t afford to get caught in that for long, since I’ve gotta write profiles on the top 20 pharma & top 10 biopharma companies this month.

I’ve also been reading that Robert Moses biography pretty devotedly. Since it’s insanely long, I’ve been a little afraid of putting it down for a few days and losing my steam. It’s a phenomenal story, and the author’s just reached the point where all of Moses’ bridges and parkways are managing to create more traffic. The crux of the problem — Moses’ power-thirstiness — appears to be explained as a function of RM’s domineering mother and grandmother, which just sounds kinda boring. I’m hoping that Caro’s interpretation of RM’s personality gets a little more intricate, otherwise I’m afraid that NYC really is just a twisted child’s vision.

In other news, we went to a surprise 40th birthday party for my “big sister” (next-door neighbors who are more family to me than just about anyone beyond my immediate relations) on Saturday night. It was good to catch up with some of them, since we never get together, even though I still live next door to their house (where their mom lives). Just about all my “brothers and sisters” have kids now, so the evening was spent making sure they stayed out of trouble, got enough attention, and didn’t hear my gin-lubricated sailor-speaking mouth. It was good times.

We also discovered a good restaurant earlier in the day, while looking for a birthday present. It’s right across the street from one of the finest pizzerias in NJ, which I had to stare at while eating my rogan josh. It’s a tough life.

On the plus side, official VM buddy (and nearly VM wedding-officiant) Tom Spurgeon is coming to visit this week. We’ll watch the first game of the NBA finals Thursday night, maybe get to the Belmont (if he’s got an extra ticket for me) on Saturday, hit the MoCCA Art Festival on Sunday, and generally shoot the breeze, which I find to be a delightful and worthwhile pursuit.

Hot ticket

Here’s an article from Forbes about the roots of corrupt behavior. It explores the matter via the parking tickets unpaid by UN diplomats in NYC:

Scandinavian countries, which perennially rank among the least corrupt in the corruption index, had the fewest unpaid tickets [between 1998 and 2005]. There were just 12 from the 66 diplomats from Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Almost all of these tickets went to one bad Finn.

Chad and Bangladesh, at the bottom of the corruption index, were among the worst scofflaws. They shirked 1,243 and 1,319 tickets, respectively, in spite of the fact that their UN missions were many times smaller than those of the Scandinavians.

The last time I heard about Chad and cars was when they fought with Libya and used Toyota pickups instead of tanks or APCs.

Find out what Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer decided to do about the problem.


Two neat basketball stories today. First, Chuck Klosterman wrote a neat piece on ESPN’s Page2 about how Phil Jackson will become a much better story once he’s gone through the abject failure of coaching the Lakers this year.

Americans don’t read very much, mostly because they don’t have to. But we still live in a staunchly literary world. We understand almost everything (and everyone) within the context of a narrative that’s written by circumstance and reality; each person’s history is a little story where they are the main character. As such, historical figures are remembered for the things they accomplish and the victories they win — if life were a movie, the collection of those achievements would comprise the plot. But people are always defined by their greatest failure. You learn very little about a man’s character from his success; truth exists only within adversity. And adversity is what Jackson needs to define himself as A Great Man; without it, he’s just a tall dude from Williston High School who won a lot of games with a lot of talent.

The other neat story? Why, it’s that Seattle Sonics center Reggie Evans missed a piece of the 3rd quarter of last night’s game against the Knicks because he was taking his drug test at halftime.

“I’ve been clean since I’ve been in the league, I’ve been clean since I’ve been in college, I’ve been clean since I’ve been in high school, middle school, elementary school,” Evans said. “I’m just cleaner than clean. I’m cleaner than Pine-Sol.”

A brand-new look

Ahoy, ahoy, dear reader! After nearly 3 years of the same design and platform for Virtual Memories, I’ve decided to move over to WordPress! I’m hoping this new model will allow me to post entries more smoothly, and give me more flexibility for adding functions to the blog (as is, you can now search through all the contents really easily).

In the next week or so, I’ll be done reformatting the 700-odd previous posts, cleaning up broken links, and putting in new features like e-mail notification, an Amazon database, flickr integration, and whatever other neat/useful stuff I can find. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to migrate over the comments from past posts, so I’ll need you guys to start commenting anew. I’ll try to keep up my end with some entertaining/infuriating posts.

I hope you like the new look.