Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
First Besha's brother marries a girl named Athena; now my brother is dating a girl who will, after graduation, be....
wait for it...
wait for it....
A PUSSYCAT DOLLS BACKUP DANCER.
Oh yes, oh yes. She has, however, sent me a Facebook message saying she's sorry we haven't met yet, etc etc. Which makes me think that she is very sweet, and that my brother has been going out with her for much longer than he will admit to us.
My mother's reaction to the post-grad plans? "Oh, dear. She just cannot come to any of our big family parties. They will RIP HER APART."
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
These dudes are hanging around campus, apparently to clear brush and prevent fires later in the season. Word on the street is that they are meat goats, so they are plump. And there are tiny ones! WANT.
Monday, April 27, 2009
This article does a really good job articulating both my frustration at certain aspects of traditional media and my optimism for its new forms.
Some key pieces:
"The problem for the RO [Read-Only] crowd is that they have it completely backwards. In the age before YouTube, Susan Boyle would have been viewed only by those who actually watched the show (just over 8 million UK viewers). It would have been a water-cooler moment, with people commenting on it. But the fact that it was posted on YouTube and went viral made it a global story, it enhanced the ratings for the show, and in general enhanced ITV's position with advertisers. But all that the RO crowd can think of is loss revenue from those 100 million clicks." (from TechnoLlama)
"The only sense of entitlement is coming from the old school players -- the newspapers and the recording industry -- who fail to recognize revolutionary technologies that are changing their markets, and enabling tremendous new opportunities. These old school players seem to feel entitled to their old business models, even as they fail to embrace the new opportunities and fail to provide what consumers clearly desire."
"The only sense of entitlement I'm seeing...[is] in the old industries that refuse to admit that new technologies make things more efficient, and it's in pretending that all new efficiencies must be illegal or immoral because money can no longer be made via outdated business models."
I'm pretty sympathetic to the Read-Only guys - I was one while at Godine. But because I care about them, I want them to wake up and get with it, dammit!
You know you have been traveling and eating out too much when...
You open your oven to find 3 beets wrapped in aluminum foil, and realize you put them on to roast 2 weeks ago. At least the oven was off.
Think they're still good?
Friday, April 24, 2009
Last night I got to see Dave and Janet and Thea and Meg and Natalie and Ariel and Elise and Maia and Gabe and Chapman Grumbles. I love visits!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Mike and I took a redeye that got in at 7 this morning. We rode NJ Transit into the city (Northeast Corridor line, what what) and grabbed breakfast at the Goog. I have spent the majority of the day either eating (a high school friend came for lunch) or playing with my bosses' children, who were bored out of their minds by Take Your Child To Work Day.
Reason #884372 my dad is great: whenever I went to his office for TYCTWD, he called it quits for the day and took me to the Museum of Natural History or Central Park. At the time I thought he just didn't want me to know what he did all day, and in that I was kind of right - he just didn't want me to think that working at an insurance company is dull. Shocking.
Oh, also: I am caffeinated out of my mind, and my fingers are so twitchy that I cannot type for shit. Spellcheck, don't fail me now.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It's kind of scary to participate in the ebook debate, mostly because I'd like to minimize the amount that my 35 or 45 year old self looks back at my 25 year old self and goes, "What were you THINKING?" I'm sure it's going to happen enough about clothes and the amount of booze I consume; I don't need to feel embarrassed by my professional aspirations as well.
But I still like reading articles about these things, even if it's just so I have something to chitchat about with publishers. And I really like reading articles that flatter my current endeavor.
So thank you, WSJ. On Amazon and Google digital intitiatives: "As a result, 2009 may well prove to be the most significant year in the evolution of the book since Gutenberg hammered out his original Bible."
Hyperbolic much? Discovery is really key - looking something up online and finding out there's a book that tells you what you need to know is rad. Having the ability to buy a paper copy of it is, too - or digital version, as I have previously noted.
Also, I meant to post this yesterday, but I forgot - and now the NYT beat me to it.
Finally: have Maureen Dowd's "technology is scary and will lead to the downfall of humanity" columns been driving anyone else crazy?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Vegan baking is all up in my face recently. Saturday night we went to a birthday party where the vegan cupcakes were apparently fantastic; I was too busy sucking down vodka with lemonade to try one. Mike now says he wants to take up vegan baking, and I fully support that - I occasionally bake vegan, but that is when I am craving a warm sweet treat and am too lazy to go to the store to get eggs. Now, behold: vegan ollalieberry pie, from Herbivore on Divis. Scarfed last Tuesday in about 30 seconds. I can't believe it's not butter. Or eggs. Or milk. Or....
Last Friday: Pirate and Gypsies party, a birthday party for Mike, Greenpeacers, and the head of Pirate Cat Radio.
Saturday: new bed purchase, Kari's party, Besha's birthday at Zeitgeist.
Sunday: Mike's birthday, Beanbag, Zeitgeist, Dolores Park (impromptu slip and slide below), Fly Bar, Bi-Rite ice cream cake.
Monday: Goldman prize, inspiring/amazing/famous people all over the place (blurry Robert Redford below), Holter-Mehren family stories, free food and booze!
I need a nap.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
From today's "Publishers Lunch":
"Lightning Source announced a pilot program with the Espresso Book Machine allowing publishers to make their titles available for in-store printing through the POD [print on demand] machine. They says approximately 85,000 titles from publishers including Wiley, Hachette, McGraw-Hill, S&S, Macmillan and Norton will be available this way as of May (though there are very few machines in place in stores). 'Upon the completion of a successful pilot, publishers that print and distribute books with Lightning Source will have the option to participate.'"
Here is my book dream: aside from the guaranteed bestsellers and the fancy-paper-and-binding books (with which I have experience, via Godine), when you want a book you can get it printed in-store. At that point you can also choose whether or not you want to pay a bit extra for a digital product - either internet access to the book (i.e. stored in the cloud) or a digital download, which can be loaded onto the device(s) of your choosing.
The result: publishers no longer have to stress about how many books to print in each run - and because they're not laying out a ton of money for the print run, they don't have to worry about a digital product cannibalizing their print sales and losing them money on the printed product. As a reader, you get to buy any book you'd like, not just what the bookstore is stocking at that moment. And you get the good old printed book, while still getting the full text searchability (and other features) of the digital version. Win-win!
What does this mean for bookstores? I need to think about that one a bit more.
I have already told pretty much everyone I know, but if you live in the Bay Area, you should really go see Point Break Live, because it is hilarious. You should also wear a poncho, because if, like us, you are the only people without ponchos, the cast will target you and pump their waterguns at your head for minutes at a time and yell, "You were too cheap to buy a poncho? It was only a dollar! Only a fucking dollar!" You will also get fake blood and jizz on your clothes, but that part was kind of fun.
I may be accused of being a spoiler, but here is a shot from the skydiving scene.
1. I am apparently allergic to mango, my absolute favorite fruit. I am not particularly observant, but it dawned on me Wednesday morning that my lips were swollen and puffy and itchy as hell, as is always the case the day after I eat mango. In honor of this tragedy, I have made the image below with the help of MS Paint, a la first year of college.
It hurts me, it really does. I don't know if I can go on.
2. Last night I dreamed I had a baby. In the dream I was all, "This is just like everyone says! You really can't imagine you could love something so much!" blah blah blah. It was actually a pretty nice dream. But then, when I looked down at the baby, I was holding a paper plate with a cheeseburger on it. I lifted off the bun and the pickles and started wiping off the ketchup and mustard. "Who put fixins on my baby? Who?" But there wasn't a baby anymore - just a hamburger patty.
My takeaway on this is that I am very much not ready to have a baby or to eat a cheeseburger anytime soon.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I don't think I am meant to be an investor.
Case in point: I just opened a Schwab account for my GOOG stock, and I accidentally listed my second country of citizenship as Iraq. I must now figure out how to change it to Ireland, as I had originally intended. Not that it is illegal to be Iraqi or anything. It is just ludicrously incorrect.
Who knew they were right next to each other in alpha-national order? Not me.
Ok, so I don't just like the corporate apartment here - I LOVE it. Check the views, dude.
Looking south across Millennium Plaza (the bean!):
Looking north down Michigan Avenue:
And for Teppi Leigh:
Things I don't like about Chicago:
- Chicago (not Midwestern) accents
I am in Chicago until Thursday, visiting my publishers.
Things I like about Chicago:
- tall buildings
- staying in the corporate apartment on the 28th floor of an aforementioned tall buildings
- getting to wear my white coat
- the Zamboni that passed me on the highway on the way to Hyde Park
Things I don't like about Chicago:
- populated by people with Midwestern accents
- cold as a Polar Bear Club member's balls
Monday, April 6, 2009
I anticipate a future in which Wellesley chicks that I knew start popping up all over the place - newspapers, magazines, TV, etc, reminding of my own inadequacy. I like to think I am living a life of Purpose, even if Purpose = drinking beer and sitting in the sun and watching Netflixes. I do not want to be reminded that there is a better word for this, and it is Hedonism.
Well, the future is now. I submit to my fellow slacker Wellesley alums Example Numero Uno, a quote which Mike randomly sent to me (via the HuffPo) as evidence of the interesting phenomenon of Michelle Obama's popularity in France:
Her voice broke with emotion, and her aides said that she saw herself in the faces of the students. Afterward, she practically dove into the crowd, kneeling at the edge of the state to dole out hugs.
"People identify with her, even here, she is seen as a woman of the people," said Crystal Fleming, who is affiliated with the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. "The French magazine Le Point dubbed her 'the princess of the people,' which is pretty impressive when you think about it. She's an African American woman."
That's got to be C.M. Fleming '04, right? The end of our innocence is nigh, my chickadees.
There is a man doing roadwork outside my apartment. He has been saying "Mama, mama, mama" in a not-unhappy sing-songy voice for going on 15 minutes. It's kind of hypnotic.
Whatever gets you through the day, man.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Yesterday was my brother's big art show, an exhibition of his senior (!!!) thesis. It looks like the whole family turned out, and I'm really sorry I couldn't make it - one of the downsides of living so far away.
My dad sent me some photos, and I'm really impressed. Ian has made some beautifully weird-looking stuff.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
This question comes up every night at dinner, but it has a different application today: I have been awarded a membership to a booze-of-the-month club. Woohoo! So it's either four bottles of wine a month for six months, or the equivalent expense applied to a beer-of-the-month club. I estimate that would last about a year and a half.
I should point out that I am not woop-de-dooing myself here; I belong to a very team-y team, and they kind of just cycle through everyone for these awards. I'll probably be due again in 2011 or so. But it still made me feel happy and appreciated, though I do wish they hadn't projected my photo about 12 feet high during the announcement.
Back to the question at hand: wine or beer? Since I know a decent amount about beer, and I get the cold sweats every time I have to pick out a bottle of wine, I'll probably go with the vino. But man do I love beer.