Friday, August 31, 2007

&c, &c about the Advocate

The poor Vicad is having a kind of identity crisis, and I guess I ran up against it. When I left the newsroom two years ago, the then-editor offered me a deal to do a blog and write one feature story a week, said they didn't want to lose my work completely. I didn't ask for it; I was happy to shake the dust of the place off my feet, but it was convenient, I had scope to write pretty much anything I wanted, and they didn't mess with my copy too much.
Since that time, the paper is kinda trying to figure out who they are. They lurch between being Weekly World News and My Weekly Reader, chupacabras and maudlin mush. They have been insisting on stories no longer than 15 inches, which isn't too bad for news but is terribly restrictive for features stuff, the stories I write. Idea was you could plead for exception to go over 15 inches on an ad hoc basis. It was simply too unattractive a way to work. Those people didn't like the way I wrote and I couldn't abide the way they edited. I think the paper looks like an 8th-grade social-science text book, with the short, short stories all tarted up with doctored photo art and lots of tiny little boxes with factoids and Web addresses. We'll all be happier with me gone. We can hope the paper will find its way back to some kind of coherent way of being.
At least I won't have to listen to people complain about the stock tables being gone.

Chimichurri, travel, &c

The Argentines serve an olive-oil, vinegar, garlic, parsley sauce with their beef. It's called chimichurri and the recipe for it is at this click. Make it; it's good. I made it when I had flat-leaf parsley in profusion.
We made reservations yesterday for tix to South America, which may be a little loony for someone who just threw his rice bowl through the window, but it's something we've had on the burner for a long time, and we feel we should spend down the travel fund while we're still fit for travel.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A little hope to nurse

Sunday we went on an adventure, to see La Boheme in San Antonio. Friends who went with us are big fans of Rent, which was based on the opera. Beautiful opera, with a knock-out crowd scene and a death-bed scene that left the girls sniffling. I, myself, was merely troubled by mold that makes my eyes water. The female half of the couple said that her father maintains that he's been seeing migrating hawks moving through already, a good sign for an early fall. This has been a relatively easy summer -- just the one good hurricane scare -- and it would be pleasant to hang the fear back up on the hatrack until next year. Up north on the Plains, the hawks start gathering into big bands along the river bottoms in August, ready to beat it down to South America. It's always fun here in migration season when you're likely to see anything in the feeder or in the trees. A blessing to live in **Adrift. We just had a quick shower. It rains in Denver most summer afternoons around 5 or so, or it seemed like most afternoons. Last time I left Denver was spring of '68, but I will assume not everything has changed. Shower here cools us off a little and steams us up a lot. My goodness how I do meander.

PSA for PC people

If you get notice that you've received a post card from a family member, you might want to approach it with caution. Just got a note from a friend, warning against this, and there's a click-through to Snopes , which says it's true. Unless the whole thing's species of even more complicated hoaxes. I'm amazed at the trouble people will go to put something over on Internet users.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Leaps into the dark

Nothing quite like quitting a job without any fall-back position. Used to make that sort of leap into the abyss all the time when I was younger, but those were different times, and I was another guy then. I scuffled doing freelance magazine pieces along through the 80s, so I suppose that's the logical next move. Mag's more my style anyhow ... a little time to luxuriate over the writing and think about it, find that felicitous word. First friend I told I'd quit the paper looked at me and said, "Good for you. That's a bad paper." That is pretty much the consensus of everyone I've heard from since. Doesn't buy any porkchops but confirms my decision, anyhow. Or maybe they're just too polite to call me an idiot.
Friend writes me that the Albuquerque Tribune is on the block with little prospect of a buyer and opines the paper will simply be killed off. He remarks that that's a sorry fate for the paper of Ernie Pyle and Bill Mauldin; he's right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sch├Ądenfreude

Ah, those randy Rs. They caught a senator from Idaho playing footsie between the bathroom stalls at the Mpls-St. Paul airport. Apparently there had been complaints about footsieing there and the senator incautiously elected to play footsie with an undercover cop. Said senator pled out to some kind of reduced charge, but later said he didn't really mean it, just kidding about that guilty plea, and besides it was all in some way the fault of an Idaho newspaper. This follows the whorehopping senator from Louisiana -- & I'm not sure his constituents would hold a little whorehopping against him -- and Foley, the guy in the HofR who was sending off billets douxs [is that right? I don't want to look it up] to the cute page boys there at work in the nation's Capitol. The Idaho guy has voted in the past for anti-gay laws, so this could be seen either as almost Greek tragedy or perhaps farce or maybe just a grotesque justice. Just think of all that fuss about Wm Jefferson fooling around with a willing, grown female person and no money changing hands. Makes him look almost admirable.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Loonar New Year

I've just parted ways with the Vicad but wasn't quite sure I wanted to give up blogging, so I've set up this blog. I suspect I'll post less often but at greater length than I have in the past. I hope y'all will stay with me. I'm kinda used to you. In a couple days, I'll explain about the Advocate.