On any given day I come home from work, read Romenesko, cry, eat some Jell-o, shower and ready the coffee maker for the next morning’s brew. But today I could do none of those things because I came home and found a CAT in my apt. A fat fluffy cat with a big grin on its face. I’m so confused. I don’t even like cats.
Monthly Archives: January 2009
Wow! I am a new man! Woman! Man. Woman. I fell off my bike! And hit my head. Generously. It was dark. There was a UPS man. And another man. And a shaggy dog. And a hospital. Doctors. Nurses. Gauze. Clogs. I read an article about Ted Haggard while in line for the CAT scan. He is still not gay but admits to being “confused” and loving KFC. Correlation?
Sometimes a little concussion is all you need to get back into the swing of things. I highly recommend it.
An important life lesson is: never buy a grow-your-own paperwhite kit on sale at Walgreens. I think the entire thing’s made of wax.
This year, I am going to try to live the GOOP life. Just kidding. But Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly newsletter is pretty amazing down to its every typo, even though I keep getting confused by all her cleanse-talk. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to eliminate white sugar, whitefish or white people from my life to detoxify my stomach and soul, so I’m just avoiding them all. It’s going well so far.
When I was in New York, my aunt and I had a great time shredding Suze Rotolo’s account of her relationship with Bob Dylan, innocently titled A Freewheelin’ Time. Despite not wanting to be known as Dylan’s ex and being resistant to exploiting their four LSD and Joan Baez-pocked years together, she wrote a book about it, and it’s not good. But hey, I still read most of it. Gossip is cooler when it’s vintage.
Continuing my ride on the lady-in-shadow-of-the-great-man train, next on my booklist is Duchess of Palms, Nadine Eckhardt’s memoir of marriage to two different, “semi-famous” Texas men — first the writer Billy Lee Brammer, then the policitan Bob Eckhardt. According to Robert Leleux’s recent piece in the Texas Observer, Eckhardt’s basic life philosophy can be stated in in three words: “I’m over it.” Inspiring. She also said that every congressional wife should receive a pension.
I’m going to get around to reading American Wife one of these days, too, which should be the Cool Whip on the Jell-o of my winter booklist. I’m reading so much, I feel like a student again. Oh wait.
I’ve always perversely enjoyed reading the Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report, and I give the paper credit for explicitly pandering to a base rather than swathing elitist stories in cashmere and letting them sit pretty in a “style” or “life” section for unassuming (or assuming) readers to consume. There should really be a newspaper with sections labeled for corresponding social classes. It could be called The Caste-anet, and it would have a rich section, a poor section, a working poor section, a middle-class section and special editions for students, single parents and the elderly. Yes, most newspapers already cover these bases, but none with such brave categorical absoluteness. Until The Caste-anet exists, though, I’ve taken to reading fiction which is so bizarre because I hate imaginary things. But Lolita is good and the degeneration of Humbert Humbert’s feelings for Valeria remind me of the demise of the newspaper industry:
But reality soon asserted itself. The bleached curl revealed its melanic root; the down turned to prickles on a shaved shin; the mobile moist mouth, no matter how I stuffed it with love, disclosed ignominiously its resemblance to the corresponding part in a treasured portrait of her toadlike dead mama; and presently, instead of a pale little gutter girl, Humbert Humbert had on his hands a large, puffy, short-legged, big-breasted and practically brainless baba.
Something that seems to hold great beauty or meaning does not; up close, it’s absolutely empty — and it’s an ugly emptiness — beneath a bloated facade. Poor Valeria. Poor media. Ah, well. It’ll be ok because I’m fairly certain that the demise of civilization is actually golf on Youtube. Society sure has a lot of fish to fry.
Namaste. Oh yeah, back here in Texas. Always a little culture jolt, coming back. Keeps me fresh, just like my low-functioning car and computer. Every day is a brilliant struggle.!
On the broken appliance note, I’m starting to love the recession-depression. My friend Ross works at a place in New York, the name of which ends in HOP but is not IHOP. The other day I was waiting outside his office for him to go to dinner at my second-favorite restaurant, which is really just a bodega at 23rd and 6th. As time ticked by and the mercury/my blood sugar dropped I worried our dinner date might be delayed because of holiday backlog. But Ross came out at 5:05, saying that despite mounting piles of HOP work, he and his officemates were denied the opportunity to work overtime because of budget constraints. We ran gleefully from the HOP office like schoolchildren on a snow day, or convicts breaking from prison. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than the idea of overtime on your own time, even if it is time-and-a-half. What’s the point? Ben Franklin would be rolling in his grave if he saw what happened during the average American workday. “Drive thy business or it will drive thee,” the old man once said. “Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to get leisure.”
Well, I have a lot to do. I even made a list. Serious stuff. Bye.
I really want to know more about Jim Skinner, the current CEO of McDonald’s. Here’s all we get from this article in Saturday’s NYT:
Mr. Skinner, who worked briefly at McDonald’s in high school before joining the Navy, decided to join the chain permanently after a fellow sailor gave him the idea. After he was discharged from the Navy, Mr. Skinner found a job in 1971 as a McDonald’s management trainee.
He rose steadily through the ranks, eventually overseeing operations in Europe and Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He was the company’s vice chairman — at the time one of the top three executive positions — before being named chief executive.
He says restaurant experience is invaluable for McDonald’s executives because they learn the “fear of failure.”
“They know they have to perform,” he says. “You don’t get a bye because you walked in off the street and went to Harvard.”
You don’t get a bye! It’s true. But you do have to be careful of making loaded generalizations. How many Harvard grads (who are unlike Michael Gates Gill, the former ad exec whose live was saved by Starbucks) work (or aspire to work) at McDonald’s? Or is Skinner admonishing Harvard grads for being bad McDonald’s employees, or for thinking they’re entitled to a more flawless cheeseburger? Is that a workable business philosophy?
In any case, I saw a little boy nibbling at a McDonald’s hamburger on the train the other day and was arrested by the most intense wave of nostalgia. I guess that’s why the company’s stock is at $60.07 and I remain a “vegetarian.”