Thursday, July 24, 2008

temporary post regarding el telefono y ustedes

I'm in the midst of moving to a new home. To keep up the writing and training commitments, I'm throwing my cell phone into the ocean. So we have to talk next week. That's all y'all.

However, I've asked the Coast Guard to give me my phone back promptly on Monday and they've agreed. So we will resume chatting then. In the meantime, back to boxes, bikes, and books. Bai bai!

Monday, July 21, 2008

god bless, fall is coming!!!!!

Oh my gosh. It feels like fall outside. I am moving August 1st. It is my annual move—I am like a Mongolian nomad. Something deep in my bones is very resistant to stillness, apparently. The fog these days reminds me of when I was a kid and summer conspicuously got on its way. Ah, I looked good in those days: moon boots and too-tight but awesome Jordache jeans and a shirt with a purple unicorn on the front that I wore every day. I knew how to live it up as a kid. I am on my way back to that. I have just thrown my Obama story over the fence to my editor. It'll be out in about a month, a little more. It's excellent. The subject matter is totally fascinating.

I have one more story and one more review on tap and then, gloria in excelsis deo, I am taking the ENTIRE FALL off from freelance writing. No triathlons, no marathons, no fundraising, no freelance work, no moving. I will have a normal life of 40-hour work weeks and of making apple cider and pluot preserves and apricot pies and molten chocolate cakes and savory tarts and herby good stews. I will go out collecting leaves and planning to press them and then not doing that and watching them curl up and then throwing them back out into the backyard with a big flurry, out to where they belonged in the first place.

I will make fires in my perfect wood-burning stove, cook foods using cardamom and cinnamon, have my family out from Jersey for a big Thanksgiving feast, and I will start right away planning my Hannukmas tree and your present and all the COOKIES I will make. I will send them to you in a box with old-timey ribbons and you will eat too many. We will all fall in love with each other, forget our Israeli-Palestinian, American-Iraqi conflicts and just toss dreidels and sing from our hymnals and eat cookies and watch every single LOST episode without once going outside.

And then we WILL go outside, run through the yard with the dogs, marvel at the luxury of free time, and maybe think about taking on another project ... or ten. I love the fall. It's my favorite!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

a not-so-beautiful mind

So this is my master plan for the article I'm working on right now. I'm not so far from stringing yarn up on all my walls with stick pins and imagining that the patterns represent a really big breakthrough. I tell you, it's a genuine, certified miracle that I ever finish writing anything. Or that it ends up making any sense. But they say (thank god "they" keep saying things) that as long as you continue to wonder if you have lost your mind that you have, in fact, not yet lost it. Phew. Good. Now where's that yarn?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Stay tuned for a piece on Obama's campaign, their brilliant use of social software, and what this unqualified young pundit thinks it means for the future of American politics. Nothing like armchair analysis. Hoot!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

my mean face

Got up today at 4:45 to go swimming before work. Whose dumb idea was this triathlon training? Oh, mine? Well someone needs to lend me some common sense right quick. I need a second coffee to change my current expression:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

real-life confessions of a sudden dog junkie

So we all come to crossroads, which by definition present a choice: do we, for example, pursue a higher calling when the move necessarily means stepping outside the ethical bounds of our profession? That was my big question. See, I was raised by two solid, strong parents, both highly principled. And my father retired not too long ago from lifelong service to the New York Times as a pressman and die-hard union leader. I've always admired much about him, not the least his commitment to the written word, to journalism, to old-school reporter principles.

One of those principles is objectivity--in part, the will to resist identifying too closely with the subjects of one's stories. Well Dad, skip this post. Because I have fallen for pit bulls. Most of you who follow this blog read my recent story on the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick compound. My analysis of their story ended up fortifying what had been a growing dismay regarding the reputations these dogs have endured as a class of dogs, an entire breed of canines maligned for the errs of a menacing minority.

It's in that spirit, then, that I've gone from "objective journalist," a term my father and I have long debated, to an engaged advocate for change. I'm so committed, in fact, that I'm doing a triathlon to raise money for a program I think will be especially effective in transforming some down-on-their-luck and slim-on-manners hopefuls into model dogs. In this way, I like to imagine I'll be all the more active in bringing about the kind of change I hoped to foment with the news story. Someone needs to retell the story of these brave, goofy dogs and well since I can, I will.

I'll be sending out a mail, but in the meantime, have a look at the site we've put together for the Team Pibble fundraiser. We had a good time building it. We're having a good time training for it. Hope you'll think about pitching in. A movement only spreads when people get big and brave enough to help out. My parents taught me that too.