First, a little light housekeeping: I’m adding some Google ads to the site. From time to time over the years, people have asked me whether I’d consider hosting advertising here, and my answer was always bafflement: Who in their right mind would advertise here? In the six years I’ve been
wasting time on this lunacy playing around with this blog, I’ve never really strayed far from the original idea, which is: Daily life, with links. That’s all. If people want to stop by and read, or participate in the discussions, I’m flattered to pieces, but really, if there was ever a blog about nothing, this is it.
However, even nothing has its readers. I added Google ads to my poor, neglected Grosse Pointe Today site when I launched it last fall. Even with haphazard updating and constant excuse-making from its proprietress, I checked my account status the other day and discovered I’d made, lord almighty, $19. Why, that means NN.C could conceivably make, oh, $60 in the same time period. As my friend the Other Alan used to say, “If you saw $60 lying on the ground, would you pick it up?” Of course I would. Google ads are text-based and unobtrusive and do not feature dancing silhouettes or punch-the-monkey games or, my new bete noire, those rollover-and-it-speads-like-a-stain things.
So we’ll see how it works out. Trial basis. Etcetera.
Content will remain status quo. As tempting as it might be to become Perez Hilton.
Another housekeeping note: I’m going to start limiting the time I spend writing here, and dammit, there’s nothing you can do to make me feel guilty about it. All that means is, I’m limiting myself to 45 minutes a day to put together a main entry, and if nothing good emerges in 45 minutes, then I’m going to go bake brownies or something. “But Nance,” you might be asking. “Frequently I read what you post here, and it’s nothing good. Are you saying you spend more than 45 minutes on it? If so, what a waste of time.”
I’m saying it’s none of your damn business. Just that I have to devote more time to paying work, exercise and keeping the dust bunnies from taking over the living room, not to mention my oft-laid-aside fiction writing, which is this year’s do-it-or-drop-it long-term project.
Perspective. It’s all about perspective. I actually considered taking a hiatus, and then realized that’s probably not doable, either. For whatever reason, I seem to need to write this thing more than anyone wants to read it.
OK, then. Bloggage: Fans of this week’s On the Nightstand pick will want to read the NYT’s interview with Jim Harrison today. The picture alone is worth the click-through; if I can live like he does and look no worse at age 69, I’d say that was a fair deal.
TV time. Who’s watching “Rome” this season? (Silence.) Thought so. So let’s start the one-sided discussion!
There’re a lot of nits you can pick with any depiction of ancient Rome. Some aren’t worth picking anymore — I’m fully willing to believe that everyone in the eternal city spoke with a British accent — and some still have some life in them. I’m puzzled, watching this show, as to how they could spend a nine-figure sum and still not have one scene with more than 20 actors in the frame. (I guess they blew their production budget on that silly gladitorial contest between Titus Pullo and six or seven unfortunate would-be executioners last season. Although HBO probably could have financed that entirely by selling T-shirts with “XIII” on them in its immediate aftermath.)
The central storytelling trick of the show — two fictional soldiers who wander, Zelig-like, through the well-known historical events of Rome — is still amusing, never more so than in the episode dealing with the birth of Cleopatra’s son by Caesar. Cleo’s back this season, pressing her case for the boy to be legitimized, laying the groundwork for the seduction of Mark Antony, which should be about as difficult as falling off a log; Antony’s the King of Goats and Cleo’s about as hot as hotties come. I’m noticing the profanity has been upped in this season, which is sort of disappointing, but it’s given me a whole new oath to swear by, thanks to the King of Goats: “on Juno’s c*nt.” And Atia’s whispered parting shot to Cleo is a keeper: “Die screaming, you pig-spawned trollop.” It’s a little strange to see Lucius Vorenus turning into Al Swearengen crossed with Tony Soprano, but I guess even high-quality HBO series have to have a little synergy with one another.
Is my 45 minutes up? It is. Time to walk the dog and hit the shower, in that order. Hope I don’t meet anyone important on the first errand, although it is about 18 degrees at the moment — it’s pretty unlikely.
John said on January 25, 2007 at 10:38 am
“Hope I don’t meet anyone important on the first errand”…hmm, looking to get lucky on your second?
I will be very happy with the daily dose (45 minutes of your time). You are a much better columnist than any available in my local paper and I do appreciate you for it!
brian stouder said on January 25, 2007 at 11:04 am
Juno doesn’t have teeth there, does she?
See – HBO just ain’t Sundance
Connie said on January 25, 2007 at 11:09 am
Having read Harrison’s book on his love for gourmet and exotic food, “The raw and the cooked : adventures of a roving gourmand ” I am surprised he is alive at all. I have heard that he lives in the area of our Sleeping Bear cottage and is known to participate in the winter Tuesday evening artist’s and writer’s potluck at Art’s Bar in Glen Arbor.
nancy said on January 25, 2007 at 11:16 am
Harrison left Michigan two or three years ago, although I think he still returns regularly. He fled the increasingly turista-infested Leelanau peninsula (and the U.P. cottage) and built a house in Montana. (Both his daughters live there, and he has grandchildren he wants to be closer to.) He spends winters in southern Arizona, as the NYT story points out.
But yes, I’m amazed he’s alive at all. He wrote a fairly insufferable column for Smart magazine for a while in the ’80s, where much of “The Raw & the Cooked” first appeared. He described a meal at Jack Nicholson’s house that included an enormous bowl of pasta dressed with a pound of beluga caviar and a cup of heavy cream. It sounded repulsive, and I’m not a girl who objects to a big meal.
Dorothy said on January 25, 2007 at 11:42 am
Most days you are my daily dose of sanity, Nance. I’m grateful for whatever time and insight you are able to grant to us! Keep on keepin’ on!
brian stouder said on January 25, 2007 at 12:57 pm
So presumeably the $19 google-bucks was remitted to NN-enterprises because of click-throughs, or some other trackable browsing, eh?
Somewhat amazing, really. If a daily newspaper could harness dollars that way, then the Sentinels and J-Gs and USA Todays that lay around in every Burger King and McD (etc) in Fort Wayne would be little cash cows!
Maryo said on January 25, 2007 at 6:55 pm
OK, Rome it is. My favorite line of the season (OK, it’s still young, but still) is Brutus, after killing Caesar and facing his allies and mother tormenting him about now going to kill King of Goats, turns to his mother and says, “You, too, Mother?”
That was priceless.
The thing that keeps me going is watching the tag team of Pullo and Lucius. They play off each other so well.
And Atia. What a broad. I want to be like her when I grow up.
joodyb said on January 25, 2007 at 7:07 pm
wow. she really is pretty. doesn’t look like tv material.
why can’t i get on board with “Rome”? i love the subject matter. i loved “Deadwood.” i do find the accent thing very distracting. beyond that, the dialogue is not interesting to me. especially when you have to strain past the noncredible brit. but maybe i should give it another shot.
Did anyone watch “Dexter”? i saw little press on it. it was good and creepy. and such a crime-based show is not my cup of tea, either. i liked Hall very much in Six Feet Under; maybe that’s why i attached. Was a huge fan of “Dead Like Me.”
i would like to echo the daily dose comment above.
Scout said on January 25, 2007 at 7:28 pm
45 minutes of you is better than hours and hours of most anyone else… so thanks for whatever spare change you can toss our way, whilst composing the magnum opus.
Bill said on January 25, 2007 at 8:01 pm
My favorite from last week’s Rome: Mark Antony tells Cleopatra: “Your son will eat sh** and die before I make him legal.”
nancy said on January 25, 2007 at 8:08 pm
My all-time favorite “Rome” line was Titus Pullo’s, as he’s negotiating the prostitute’s price for young Octavian’s deflowering. It is, of course, very high, and he hesitates a moment, then pays it and says, “All right, but she’d better f*ck like Helen of Troy with her ass on fire, or I’ll know the reason.”
Dagmar said on January 26, 2007 at 11:33 am
My favorite is when Atia is preparing to send over the well endowed slave to Servilia, remarks to her daugher “Everyone appreciates big penis”.
Jason said on January 26, 2007 at 1:38 pm
I know what you mean about feeling compelled to write. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers gotta write. Or as Tom Lehrer sang, “Sharks gotta swim, bats gotta fly.”
The 45-minute rule is a good one. I try to do something similar — otherwise, you can spend your life polishing a blog entry that pays you not at all.
I know you’re a big fan of James Lileks (ahem), and he writes something he calls “egg-timer” posts — he writes for 15 minutes, and at the end of 15 minutes, he quits.
Hmmm … have you thought about writing nothing except entries about old postcards, film noir, the war on terror and visits to Target with your daughter?