A Little Light Reading

Our realtors just called; apparently there has been a scheduling mix-up, and they had to cancel this Sunday’s outing. My first thought was “Oh! I can read magazines!”

I love magazines. Somehow they manage to present the perfect combination of information and fluff. If you suspect that I’m not talking about The Economist, you’re right. It’s informative, but wow, is it dense. (Although the photo captions are excellent.)

Over the years, I’ve had an astonishing number of subscriptions. Eventually, though, a magazine will run through its material, and it becomes far too obvious that the editors are trying to put a new spin on old news. After several years, for example, I wasn’t sure that Allure and Self had much more to tell me.

Sometimes the entire tone of a magazine changes. Once upon a time, Glamour used to present a cross-section of fashion, beauty, and women’s issues. Ironic? Sure. But there was a lot going on in that magazine, and I enjoyed it. At some point, though, it became a repository of reader-submitted anecdotes and Top 10 lists. And it turns out that Glamour readers have lives that I don’t really want to read about.

Over the past few years, I’ve moved toward a selection of health, home life, and cooking magazines. I like to read a magazine without interruption, which means that they generally stack up until J goes for a long bike ride.

While Women’s Health doesn’t seem to have shown up this month, and Gourmet is floating somewhere out there in the postal system, I do have Everyday Food, Prevention, and Real Simple to look forward to. Somewhere around here is this week’s copy of Time. And since tomorrow is Saturday, and Saturday means mail delivery, who knows what else may lie ahead?

Quincy’s BBQ

Quincy’s serves “the best BBQ under one woof,” which is a little cutesy. However, the pulled pork is quite good, and the chicken is really tender. After several trips up and down Ventura Boulevard–and a couple of meals at The Habit (excellent burgers, fries, and onion rings, BTW), we decided that Quincy’s was our next stop. Both food and service were good, and although it isn’t our favorite place in the Valley, it’s not half bad.

Oh, and we put an offer on a house. How’s that for burying the lede?


When a DVD arrives from Netflix, J and I put it on top of the television. And there it sits, until we watch it. The problem is that while our queue is full of movies that we want to see, very few of them are, shall we say, lighter fare. As I mentioned in a previous post, There Will Be Blood sat on top of the TV for two months before we saw it. The Conversation also lasted about that long as well.

This week, however, we’ve made some progress. Last night we watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, and it didn’t live up to a review that I read somewhere I can’t quite remember. Frankly, I can’t remember much about the movie, and it hasn’t even been 24 hours. George Sanders was, as usual, the standout. Whatever it was he did.

Tonight we watched The Illusionist. It’s not as complex a story as The Prestige, which we saw several months ago. However, it’s well-constructed and shot beautifully, and the performances are excellent. Of course, what else would you expect from Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti? J felt that Rufus Sewell’s Prince Leopold was too plainly a villain, but based on what little I know about the waning Hapsburgs, he would have fit right in.

So now I’m wondering what movie I should move to the top of the Netflix queue. Currently Pollock heads the list, and I have the feeling that it will hold a place of honor on top of the TV for longer than makes sense.


I’m still very far behind on my scrapbooking. Last night I finished the Caribbean cruise I took with my parents (I finished the actual cruise in 2002, which should illustrate what I mean by “very far behind”), and tonight I was going to sort the photos from the trip I took to London that summer.

But where are they? They’ve vanished, although I saw them in the process of sorting the Caribbean photos, and now they’re gone.

Perhaps it’s a sign that I should go back to the box of photos from 1990. And if you think that’s a lot of back photos, keep in mind that just a couple of years ago, I was scrapbooking 1978, and I still have several years of the ’80s waiting in storage. What a trip down memory lane that will be–the hair, the clothes, the eye shadow . . .

Tour de France

It’s summer, and that means we’re watching the Tour de France. I have no idea who is riding this year; I haven’t really been following it, and I don’t recognize any of the names that I’m hearing from the commentators. Regardless, I enjoy watching it. I’m sure I won’t catch all 21 days of racing, but J will probably see the majority.

The doping scandals of the past few years have been really disheartening. I recognize that the stakes in professional sports (across the board, not just in cycling) really do encourage cheating. Yet I want to see athletes perform at their peak. It’s always disappointing when their peak turns out to be chemically assisted. For some reason, I was particularly dismayed when it became clear that Marion Jones had been doping.

The commercials are fascinating, though. We just watched a vapid woman decry “dating lines for older people who want to get married.” Apparently she knows the phone number for the service you want if you’re just looking for “easy fun.” Clearly, Versus gets all of the quality advertising.


I’m microblogging on Twitter now rather than Plurk. I know the Plurk thing lasted less than a day, but I really wanted to use Twitter from the start. For whatever reason, though, I had trouble getting the account straightened out. After a while I gave up and went to Plurk. But today I gave Twitter another shot and, magically, everything worked!

At any rate, this is an experiment. We’ll see how microblogging fits with the general blogging. It seems like it might work.

What Should I Be When I Grow Up?

You Should Be a Manager

You’re very organized, motivated, and methodical.
Fair and objective, you can see all sides of a conflict. You are a good mediator.
You are task oriented. You do well with deadlines and schedules.
And while you can be a task master at times, you’re good at managing people and listening to their input.

You do best when you:

- Must have attention to detail
- Are in charge of people

You would also be a good accountant or personal assistant.

Indeed, I am my father’s daughter.


I have friend who I refer to as “my hyper-connected friend from New York.” To avoid confusion of initials, I’ll call her H (for Hyper-connected, I guess). H knows everyone, as was demonstrated today. She was in Manhattan Beach, trying to get to UCLA. As she was sitting at the bus stop, a car pulled up and the driver said, “H, is that you?”

Three thousand miles from home, and she runs into someone she knows, who was driving in the same direction and gave her a ride to her destination. Now that’s networking.

Organizing Principles

We have too much stuff. Actually, J says that we have a normal amount of stuff for where we are in life–but we have it in an apartment that is just too small. I think he may have a point.

Regardless of how much stuff we have overall, we do have a lot of bookcases–and they are full of books. The tallest one has been double-stacked, with the books in front blocking the view of the books in back.

There are also sundry items on the shelves: candlesticks and holders, a tape dispenser and stapler, and–for some reason–a pair of 1983 Campagnolo Super Record brake calipers. For more information on those, you’d have to check with J.

But the assorted items weren’t really the problem, because you can see through or around them. Sure, there’s more on the bookcase than I might normally like, but it’s manageable. The front row of books, though, were a problem.

So I finally went through the books and made two stacks (because one would tip over) that will go to the local library. There are quite a few that I won’t read again, or won’t read. I mean, if they’ve been sitting there unread for all of these years, how likely is it that I’ll read them in the near future? And if I do want to read them, well, I can go to the library. It’s a beautiful system, really.

But the best part is how much better I feel when I look across the room at that bookcase. I can see what’s there, and it’s surprisingly calming.

You know, I really should try this on my desk at work. Now there’s an idea.