Over the break, a family friend who reads a few blogs said that he liked Atrios. I’ve never read it. It should live at http://atrios.blogspot.com/ but that link isn’t responding for me right now (??). Oh, now I’m getting a message the “new.blogger.com could not be found.” Must be a cutover glitch at the service provider.

I handed off the SEIA manuscript to the publisher just before leaving town last week. Even though the entire book, with much of the layout applicable to the print version, is live on philip.greenspun.com, the publisher wanted double-spaced hard copies. Sigh. Making the job significantly easier was weborder.kinkos.com. The kinkos folks asked for PDF format because it preserves precise formatting. Apparently MSWord re-calculates things like pagination each time a document is loaded, so you can’t always trust the “Print Layout” view. After jumping through a format conversion hoop or two, the files were off to kinkos and, twelve hundred pages later (that’s two double-spaced copies at six hundred pages per copy), a dead trees manuscript landed at the publisher’s office.

Here I am in Los Angeles, and the funny thing is that I found out about the earthquake hours later, on a cell phone call to Dave in Boston. When the quake struck I was running around Old Town doing last minute shopping. Didn’t feel a thing. My father-in-law Mike was indoors. He didn’t feel it either, but saw a chandelier swaying when someone pointed it out. Folks sitting in the same room felt a slight motion.

"Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney"

This week’s New Yorker reminded me how much I like Lorrie Moore.

  It was not good to think about the previous burning of the bedroom candles of a woman who had just unzipped your pants. Besides, he was too grateful for those candles–especially with all those little wonder boys in the living room. Perhaps by candlelight his whitening chest hair would not look so white. This was what candles were made for: the sad, sexually shy, out-of-shape, middle-aged him. How had he not understood this in his marriage? Zora herself looked ageless, like a nymph, with her short hair, although once she got his glasses off she became a blur of dim and shifting shapes and might as well have been Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney or the Blob, except that she smelled good and, but for the occasional rough patch, had the satiny skin of a girl.

From “Debarking”, currently readable here. “Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney“. I just love that juxtaposition.