What It Is: 9/22/08

What I’m reading: Didn’t have much time to read this week, so I’m still on Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye and Jason Lutes’ Berlin. I don’t anticipate getting much reading in next week, with all the work on our October issue and our conference ahead.

What I’m listening to: Meet Danny Wilson, by Danny Wilson, and The Odd Couple, by Gnarls Barkley

What I’m watching: the last series at Yankee Stadium.

What I’m drinking: Plymouth & tonic.

What Rufus is up to: Greyhound Planet picnic in Bridgewater, NJ, baby!

Where I’m going: New Brunswick, NJ, baby!

What I’m happy about: New York Magazine cited my post on The Glass Stampede in their Comments section last week:

What I’m sad about: They didn’t call me or my blog by name, so now I have yet another alias: Chimera Obscura. Sigh. I shouldn’t complain, considering I have at least six active e-mail addresses.

What I’m pondering: How working for the Long Island Rail Road seems to be a more dangerous occupation than Alaskan crab fishing.

And still champ!

I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t checked the goings-on at The New York Sun. I wonder what’s in today’s Arts+ section?

  1. A review of David Lebedoff’s new book on George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh
  2. A review of Cyril Connolly’s “Enemies of Promise”
  3. A review of the best gins for G&Ts
  4. A sidebar on niche tonic-waters

I feel like Cliff Clavin on Jeopardy!, when the categories were “Civil Servants, Stamps from Around the World, Mothers and Sons, Beer, Bar Trivia, and Celibacy.”

Glad to see the Official Newspaper of Gil Roth is still earning its keep.

What It Is: 7/14/08

What I’m reading: The Dunwich Horror, by H.P. Lovecraft, Against the Gods, by Peter L. Bernstein, and Bottomless Belly Button, by Dash Shaw

What I’m listening to: A stack of Mad Mix CDs

What I’m watching: Superbad and Cartwheel Fu

What I’m drinking: G&Ts with Plymouth Gin

Where I’m going: To NYC tonight to participate in a NYU graduate school panel on “media relations” or something. I find this funny because I’m the editor of a trade magazine, and thus not held in very high esteem by “legit” journalists.

What I’m happy about: Continuing to pile items like that one onto the resume of my career-by-accident/attrition.

What I’m sad about: Having no excuse not to get started on the September issue of the magazine, as well as preparing for our conference at the end of that month.

What I’m pondering: Whether the editors of the New Yorker are utterly tone deaf or just in the bag for Hillary.

What It Is: 5/19/08

What I’m reading: Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad, and the first 8 issues of the new Omega the Unknown miniseries, sorta written by Jonathan Lethem, whose prose I’ve never tried out. I oughtta sample some of his stuff on my Kindle, because I’m that awesome.

What I’m listening to: A new Mad Mix. More to come.

What I’m watching: Game 7 of Cavs/Celts, and wondering if the LeBron/Pierce matchup was going to live up to the ‘Nique/Bird shootout in 1988. It was pretty awesome.

What I’m drinking: Wet by Beefeater.

Where I’m going: Nowhere, not even for Memorial Day weekend. Sigh.

What I’m happy about: Getting out for a fantastic meal at Saddle River Inn on Saturday night, even if Dad raised the stakes on inappropriate conversation by launching into a discourse on the method used by my mohel. Seriously.

What I’m REALLY happy about: My pal Tina got married!

What I’m sad about: The Celtics won.

What I’m pondering: Microsoft’s strategy. Post to come.

What It Is: 5/5/2008

What I’m reading: Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, on my Kindle via Manybooks.net. And Lush Life, Richard Price’s new novel, via Amazon’s Kindle store.

What I’m listening to: Third, by Portishead. It sounds like them, but not like them in 1995. There’s one song on the album that annoys me a bunch, but I bet it’ll turn out like Ring Road from the new Underworld record, which got all resonant for me during my Belfast trip.

What I’m watching: Juno, which was cute. And we started the third season of the wire, at last!

What I’m drinking: More G’Vine G&Ts, plus Circus Boy by Magic Hat.

Where I’m going: Nowhere this week, but I’ll be working at home mid-week when the tree-removal guys show up to clear out a bunch of the more hazardous trees in the yard. I’ll take before-and-after pix.

What I’m happy about: That my trip into NYC yesterday to donate platelets at Sloan-Kettering went off without a hitch, despite the presence of the Five Boro Bike Tour, which would shut down the southbound FDR Drive later in the day. If I’d gotten caught in that traffic on the way into the city, I’d have been quite peeved. Good thing I’m an earlybird!

What I’m sad about: That a tick managed to evade the combined efforts of Frontline and my vigilant eye, leading to a nasty-looking bite on one of Rufus’ forelegs. Now I’ve gotta get him to the vet. Grr.

What I’m pondering: When I went to that pharma-event in Atlantic City last Monday, the keynote address was given by Linda Ellerbee. She didn’t have anything to say about clinical supplies and outsourcing, but she did give a funny and warm speech about her own history, women’s roles in the workplace, cheating husbands, breast cancer, and the messed-up-edness of the media. Some of it showed a real datedness, insofar as a lot of women under 35 simply don’t have the same limits that Linda butted up against when she was trailblazing. But that’s not what I’m pondering.

No, what I’m pondering is why, of all people she could quote throughout history to illustrate the need to change one’s own ways, she went with Anwar Sadat. Now, I can understand why his words — “He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.” — were relevant to her speech.

I just think that maybe she could’ve looked for someone whose change of thought — in this case, visiting Israel and working for peace — didn’t lead to his being assassinated by his own army.

What It Is: 4/21/08

What I’m reading: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz, as suggested by David Gates (not the guy from Bread).

What I’m watching: NBA Playoffs, except for most of the Nuggets-Lakers game.

What I’m listening to: not much. I haven’t played a lot of music lately, partly because I can’t (work-)write when there’s music on, and partly because my mom is visiting for a week and it’d be rude to play my music as loud as I like to. But I did just fall in love with Academia, off the new album by Sia.

What I’m drinking: G&Ts with G’Vine, a fancy French gin that my associate editor bought me for the holidays.

What I’m happy about: That Rufus was impossibly well-behaved (well, sleepy) during our Seder on Saturday night, despite the presence of 5 people he’d never seen before.

What I’m sad about: All the games we could’ve played. (oh, and these, too)

What I’m pondering: Going back to Montaigne and writing more of those Monday Morning Montaigne pieces that you hated.

What It Is: 3/31/08

What I’m reading: Desolation Road by Ian McDonald

What I’m listening to: Odd Couple, Gnarls Barkley

What I’m watching: NCAA hoops

What I’m drinking: nothing, after reaching double-digits in Hendrick’s & tonics last week in Philadelphia

Where I’m going: no traveling this week!

What I’m happy about: Amy & Rufus didn’t kill each other while I was away last week.

What I’m sad about: Davidson fell 3 points short of reaching the Final Four. But this post about the sheer joy on display in Western Kentucky’s first-round buzzer-beater win helps me get over the sadness.

What I’m pondering: How to write a convincing evocation of a place I’ve never been.

What it is: 3/10/08

What I’m reading: Still working Love and Sleep; it’s a longish book, and I was pretty busy this weekend.

What I’m listening to: In Our Nature, by Jose Gonzalez

What I’m watching: 2nd season of The Wire

What I’m drinking: Miller’s G&T, since I found a couple of decent limes this week.

Where I’m going: up and down the stairs, trying to get Rufus to follow me.

What I’m happy about: Besides bringing Rufus into our home? That my pals Paul & Deb sent really awesome holiday gifts (since we never got around to visiting during the holidays).

What I’m sad about: that my uncle (Dad’s brother), needed emergency bypass surgery last week, just like Dad did 3 years ago. Guess I really am going to have to watch my diet and get on that treadmill more often.

What I’m pondering: how my uncle managed to become The Invisible Man. Seriously: he lives over in NYC, and yet my father had no way to contact him beyond his cell phone; no land-line, no residential address, no business address. Of course, going in for emergency surgery, he was out of cell phone contact, and Dad had no way to reach his brother’s wife, kids, business associates or friends. I tried some detective work online (trying to track down his business, then his ex-wife for any contact info she had) but came up dry. What’s awesome about this is that Dad and his brother are not estranged. They’re actually in touch and talk occasionally, and yet my father has no idea how to contact his brother.