Danny wondered if I was planning to post today, or just lie around the house eating leftover V-Day cupcakes. The answer is: Get out of my face, Danny. I have four hours to write a story, shower, run downtown to check out a coffee table going up for auction tonight and strategize our bid (not to mention gird my loins against every gay couple in the tri-county area, because it’s mid-century and FABulous), pick up Kate, take the dog to the vet, primp for a girl’s night out, etc. But before I commence this whirlwind, I’m having a last cup of coffee and giving you something to hang your comments on, Danny, because that’s the kind of gal I am.
I always have a day like this after I’ve applied for a regular full-time job, which I did earlier this week. I’m not counting on hearing back from them, however, because one thing I’ve learned about myself in the last three years: I am box office poison. Like Joan Crawford.
In my pile of “stuff to write about eventually” is a copy of a book sent to me around Christmas by NN.C reader and sometime commenter, Michael Heaton. “Truth and Justice for Fun and Profit” is a collection of 20-plus years of columns and stories for The Plain Dealer, which you Midwesterners should immediately recognize as Cleveland’s daily newspaper (unless you’re from rural Indiana, and you know it as Wabash’s daily newspaper [no, it’s not the Cannonball, although it should be], in which case you’d be wrong, because the Wabash Plain Dealer has the city in its name, whereas Cleveland’s daily is just: The Plain Dealer, and just in case you were wondering, yes that IS the best newspaper name ever).
Anyway, Heaton’s book isn’t the sort of thing you just pick up and read straight through, but it’s great kitchen material — pick a short piece and read it while you wait for the sauce to reduce. Although it has a way of making the sauce reduce too much, if you catch my drift. You can burn your cheese toastie getting through “In the Valley of the Lost Boys,” a magazine-length piece recalling the glory days of an old-school bachelor colony, falling to (what else?) real-estate developers.
The book mostly makes me wistful, though — writing like this is why I got into newspapers in the first place. It’s reminds me that once upon a time the Features section was where a good writer aspired to be, before corporate bozos turned it into a forgettable mishmash of smart-parenting thumb-suckers and 10-day-old Paris Hilton gossip roundups.
Oh, well. Plug delivered. Follow the On the Nightstand link for buying info. (And please, don’t be put off by the “Foreword by Joe Eszterhas” line on the cover. We won’t hold that against him. Besides, when the One Great Scorer comes to write against the man who gave the world Sharon Stone’s coochie on the silver screen, he’ll have to put one thing on the plus side: He came back to Cleveland.)
And if Michael ever reads this, he knows why I finally got around to writing about it today — his father, legendary PD sportswriter Chuck Heaton, died Thursday. Ninety years old, surrounded by family, he crossed the river under the best circumstances possible. Wherever he is now, I wonder if he’s privy to what’s going to happen to the business he gave his life to. I hope, if he has any say in the matter, it’s not all bad. Michael, my condolences. It’s never easy.
Off to my fun-filled day. You happy now, Danny?