A few short items this morning before I start packing for the Christian Burning Man:
We’ve been visiting our lake cottage in Branch County less and less over the years, and perhaps you’d like to know why. OK.
Our next-door neighbor there, who bought the cottage built by Alan’s uncle, tore it down this year. No harm in that — it’s small and had a powder-post beetle infestation at one point. It probably needed doing. Of course we knew they’d put up something much bigger, but we were hopeful it would be, er, in character with the neighborhood. They decided on a prefab Swiss chalet. Other houses on the strip had been brought there in pieces, so there was a precedent. Can they get the truck to the lot without major damage? Oh sure, no problem.
The chalet went in this week. Their truck driver backed his semi across our front lawn and without so much as an oops, flattened two 10-year-old river birches Alan planted when Kate was a baby. Number of profuse apologies that have arrived at this address, or that of my sister-in-law, in the interim: Zero. Simple acknowledgment? None.
That’s it, in a nutshell.
We’ve told Spriggy that if he’d care to entrust us with his share of Leona Helmsley’s $8 billion, we’ll take very good care of it. Jeez, what a bitter old crone — $12 million for her own Maltese wasn’t enough, I suppose. I love dogs as much as you do, maybe more, and let me tell you: $12 million for a single dog deeply misunderstands the nature and needs of all dogs. You can argue with the foundation setup — I suppose there’s always someone who needs to hear the spay/neuter argument again — but at its heart it’s the work of a true misanthrope, in love with the poochies but not a dime for humanity. You know what I think? I think it’s because LA Mary couldn’t get her the strawberry preserves she wanted for her hotels. It queered her on two-legged creatures once and for all.
Inside baseball: Hank Stuever on why Clay Felker mattered:
Appreciate Clay Felker? It’s all anyone ever did, who wanted anything to do with magazines. Was it emulation, or was it envy, or was it a fantasy — working for the perfect place, the perfect editor, at the perfect time?
When I started freelancing, I had a simple goal: To do as much work as possible for editors who could help me improve. Needless to say, I never met Clay Felker.
Metro mayhem: Someone stole the copper plumbing from one of the city’s most visible landmarks. A six-figure repair bill for a few bucks in scrap metal.
Bonus: Stay at Scalzi’s for a little perspective on the military service/electability track record.
That should keep you. I’ll be in and out until I leave for the airport, so, y’know, whatever. Oh, and thanks for all the SF recommendations, folks. I neglected to mention, this trip is basically a rerun of our honeymoon lo those many years ago. (Alan: “You sure you don’t want a diamond ring?” Me: “I want a two-week honeymoon more.”) You brought back memories and gave me some new ideas. You guys are the best.