Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Okay, I'll admit it. I've done a fairly lousy job of updating the blog lately. Yeah, I've posted things, but they've mostly been things in the neighborhood of "here's a link for you" or "I'm gonna write a book." Not exactly the most compelling reading, I fear.

The truth is, I'm dog-tired. The pain meds for my back and leg have totally sapped my energy. I fell asleep last night during the early news. That, for me, is utterly lame. And speaking of lame, I walked down the hallway at work this morning without my cane - I was helping a colleague find one of our really spiffy presentation folders for a meeting with an executive VP. (A spiffy presentation folder can make anything look good - like putting a guy with a mullet in a tux. Well, maybe not with a mullet, come to think of it.) As I dragged my leg down the hallway, I realized I looked like my name should be Igor. As in, "Igor, come quickly! The master needs you!" Enough leg-dragging for the morning, I think.

I have a four-day weekend coming up (thanks to the generous inclusion of "Founder's Day" on our holiday schedule here at work) and I intend to take part of that time to flesh out my book outline and sort through the details I've noted for each story, in an attempt to put them in some sort of logical order. Knowing my tendency to ramble, I think this will be vital to keeping me on track. I can easily see myself turning one story about Moscow into some odd diatribe, completely derailing my already Amtrak-ishly unsteady train of thought.

Yesterday I had to keep myself focused on work rather than the book. Maybe that's a good thing, actually. I haven't been this excited about something so personal in a long time. But I have to keep it out of my 9-5 world, where I have so much responsibility stacked up on my desk right now, it threatens to drown me in a sea of deadlines and paperwork.

Speaking of paper... I came into possession of a large stack of vintage magazines last night, courtesy of Freecycle. Someone in Bethesda gave me a pile of Better Homes & Gardens magazines from 1937-1942. How cool is that? I am a sucker for wartime reading, and I'm looking forward to trying out some of the ration-era recipes, including desserts made without sugar. The pile of magazines (which stinks horribly from basement mildew, by the way, and needs a serious airing on my balcony this weekend) included a 1939 photography annual (not a BH&G publication) that had the Sasquatch quite enthralled. It included an article by Margaret Bourke-White (about how portrait photography was "going casual") and the winning entries in a photo contest that included several tasteful nudes (a lot of boobies for a 1939 consumer publication, I must say!) One of the best parts of these magazines is the advertising. It's cool to see what products have withstood the test of time and which have failed. The feminine hygiene ads are freaky, funny, and a bit sad, but not as disturbing as the number of laxative ads and cures for piles and foot ailments. Considering the scary "visit to the footbinder" women's fashion shoe ads I saw, the foot ailment cures shouldn't surprise me. I wouldn't have survived the clothing trends of the day, I'm fairly certain.

Doesn't he remind you of that scary Bob guy
from the "natural male enhancement" drug ad campaign?
I'd make a tasteless joke about hammers and poles here,
but you can make your own...

Coffee break over. Time to get back to the work at hand...


Heather Meadows said...

That is so awesome! I want a pile of old magazines!

My husband would bitch about them daily, but it would still be awesome ;>

I love that cover. I have no idea what "Plant-Raising Bugaboos on the Run" even means, but damned if I don't want to read the article!

(BH&G...so not ten cents anymore ;>)

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm so glad you're excited about something - I'm looking forward to reading your book someday!