Daily Office:



Cool: After a muggy, summery afternoon yesterday, rains cooled things off a  bit, but it’s almost chilly this morning. Which is just fine.

Have It Your Way: A bit of chuckleheaded reporting in today’s Times, about Democratic Party shortfalls in the Convention account: Leslie Wayne’s “Democrats Miss Marks to Finance Convention.”


Please, Mr Postman: Reading “the personals” for fun is something I stopped doing a while ago. In an idle moment this afternoon, however, I noticed that some advertisers are listing e-mail addresses. This can’t be wise.


Papaflessa: That’s the name of the street in New Erythrea (Ν Ερυθραια) that my old foreign-exchange student friend lives on — or lived on the last time anybody I know had an address for her.


Morning, cont’d.

§ Cool. I’ll be running a few errands in Midtown. I’d much rather stay home and brainstorm — or at least write up one of the nine titles in the pile of recently-read books. Latest addition: Mark Harris’s boffo Pictures at a Revolution — a rare book-that-everybody-ought-to-read.

Last night, I had a hard time reading anything. “Cartagena,” in Nam Le’s collection, The Boat, is hard to follow — intentionally, I think — and, in any case, hardly bedtime reading (it’s about a fourteen year-old contract killer). Having put Lionel Shriver’s The Post-Birthday World aside for over a week, I’m finding it almost impossible to pick up again. Aspects of Ms Shriver’s style drive me crazy — which is why I thought I’d read it; perhaps I’d figure out why. But last night, I was simply annoyed. In the end, I read about a page of Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.

§ Have It Your Way. The rather sad picture of glorious downtown Denver can’t be blamed on the reporter, but in the following passage, chirpy Republicans and austere Democrats seem to be speaking about different economies:

In fact, the Twin Cities committee has budgeted $58 million for the convention, nearly $20 million more than it is contracted with the Republican National Committee to raise. Half of that $58 million is to be raised from Minnesota companies, and half from national fund-raising, according to the committee’s marketing material.

Ms. McFarland said that her committee had been aided by the fact that 19 Fortune 500 companies are located in the region and that “we have been thrilled with the generous support of the local community.”

Mr. Lopez cited a lagging economy in explaining the Democrats’ fund-raising problems. Since the bulk of the money is raised from major corporations, corporate financial restraints are affecting all charitable contributions, the Denver committee included.

“We’ve got to deal with the fact that there is belt-tightening all across corporate America,” Mr. Lopez said. “They are reducing spending, and that has had a big impact. We are no different than others trying to raise money in this environment. Everyone is facing it.”

In the next paragraph, we’re told that the Democrats are doing better than they did in 2004. Where’s the news?

Noon, cont’d.

§ Please, Mr Postman. It’s very tempting to give “MWM, 51 Successful Professional, NYC Area” an unsolicited piece of my mind.

There’s something missing in my life—the fun and excitement of getting to know someone of the opposite sex. I’ve been married a long time—and, unfortunately, there’s not much fun and excitement left in it. And so: I’ve decided to place this ad…

MWM sounds like a nice guy, naturally — you almost feel sorry for him, trapped in that excitement-free marriage. Wait! Did I say “trapped”? Is it possible for someone born after 1950 to be — maritally — trapped? Now, if the guy said, “I’m a philandering louse, looking to screw around; how’s about you?” — in that case, my indignation wouldn’t have much to work with.

Night, cont’d.

§ Papaflessa. New Erythrea looks like a comfy suburb of Athens, up in the hills to the North-Northwest, which is nice to know.

At first, I ran into impenetrable rejection, because I was misreading two handwritten letters, delta for theta and gamma for phi. Well, it has been a while since I dabbled in Greek, ancient, modern, or handwritten.

Next up: the phone book. It occurs to me that, on top of everything else, the Turks did the Greeks a final nasty turn by adopting the Roman alphabet, making their old foes the only Europeans outside the orbit of Russia to use a “funny” alphabet. Any Greek will tell you, of course, that it’s the Roman alphabet that’s “funny.” That and a bottle of Windex will get you a clean window.

One Response to “Daily Office:

  1. Migs says:

    Re: Noon –

    Why is donewithcoldweather@gmail.com looking only for divorced or widowed men? That is dangerously effective in enticing the guys with real baggage. And, besides, the divorced and widowed men would all go for Stunning European.