What It Is: 6/29/09

What I’m reading: Plutarch’s life of Aemilius Paulus, and a little of The Hunter, a Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) book. But I’m in the home-stretch for my Top Companies ish, so I’ve just been reading a lot of SEC filings, analyst reports and various pharma-bloggers.

What I’m listening to: A whole ton of Michael Jackson music.

What I’m watching: A whole ton of Michael Jackson videos. And the Yankees beating up the Mets.

What I’m drinking: Blue Point Blueberry Ale.

What Rufus is up to: Going on his first greyhound hike in about 8 weeks and having a great time catching up with his pals.

Where I’m going: On a weeklong vacation (to nowhere) once this issue is done.

What I’m happy about: The Top Companies issue is just about done. It’s gonna be a hard couple of days to finish it, but I can visualize the end of it.

What I’m sad about: That Dad’s gout has stuck around, making his life pretty miserable.

What I’m worried about: Getting in trouble because I failed to mail back my jury duty notice. See, I misread the form and thought I was only supposed to mail it in if I was trying to get a deferral. Oops. On the upside, my juror number is above the cut-off point, so I won’t have to go serve on Tuesday.

What I’m pondering: Whether Ron Rosenbaum knows anyone under the age of 40.

What It Is: 1/26/09

What I’m reading: The Alcoholic, a boring comic book by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel, and The Hot Rock, by the late, lamented Donald Westlake. Otherwise, same as last week: Montaigne and Clive James.

What I’m listening to: Bebel Gilberto records

What I’m watching: The last episodes of Arrested Development.

What I’m drinking: Plymouth & Q Tonic

What Rufus is up to: Playing with his new squeaky toy, a big plush pheasant. It’s holding up remarkably well to his chomping, but he’s gotten crazy-possessive about it.

Where I’m going: To Philadelphia next Saturday to visit a pal.

What I’m happy about: Since dropping Instapundit, Vodkapundit and Andrew Sullivan from my rotation, I’m able to read my daily RSS feeds much more quickly!

What I’m sad about: That the last season of Arrested Development fell so flat.

What I’m pondering: How much weight Portia de Rossi dropped from the beginning of the series to the end. We might have to go back and check out the first few episodes just to see.

R.I.P., Donald Westlake

Donald Westlake died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 75. My condolences to his wife and family.

I read a bunch of Westlake’s caper novels when I was a kid, and recently returned to the first one (which I took out of my local library, 25 years ago). I picked up a few others in the last month or two. In 2003, Michael Blowhard made him the first recipient of the Michael Blowhard Award for Excelling at Making Me Happy.

He wrote till the end of his days while I, meanwhile, have yet to start on the caper novel that I felt inspired/justified to write after re-reading The Spy in the Ointment. But I refuse to revise my New Year’s resolutions.

What It Is: 11/3/08

What I’m reading: The Spy in the Ointment, by Donald Westlake. I checked this book out of my local library around 25 years ago, and I decided to go back and check to see if it’s still there. After they computerized the system, they threw out the old sign-out cards, so there’s no sign of when I actually took this one out. But I think I was around 11 or 12 years old. It’s a hoot of a caper novel, so I’ll probably return to some of those Dortmunder novels that I was too young to understand.

What I’m listening to: Mind How You Go, by Skye.

What I’m watching: Not much. Watched the third episode of Mad Men (season 1), and am still sorta eh about it. I guess the aspect I find the most interesting is the way the female characters are all portrayed as stunted, crippled personae. But maybe I’m more fascinated by the way that, at certain angles, Jon Hamm resembles Steve Carrell with a much smaller nose.

What I’m drinking: I’m out of Plymouth gin, so it’s back to Wet by Beefeater.

What Rufus is up to: Having his Saturday night bath and smelling nice and fresh. Oh, and playing with his new hedgehog toy, which I’ve alternately named Hedge Fun and Hedgie Murat.

Where I’m going: Atlanta in a couple of weeks, but nowhere this week.

What I’m happy about: Getting out to the Giants game on Sunday!

What I’m sad about: The realization that I’m likely never going to see my copies of Grant Morrison’s Bible John comic, having lent them to Chip Delany a number of years ago.

What I’m pondering: Lydia Hearst: Hot or not? Broken reflection of Heather Graham or not?