Dear Diary:


Another housebound day. The sun came out between five and six, but by then it was too late to run errands. Tomorrow, I thought. Tomorrow will be nice. But —maybe not. As midnight approached, the thunder and lightning act gave repeat performance.

While I was breakfasting on an English muffin, a friend called from the road. Number one, I disapprove of talking while you’re driving (it’s often illegal!). Number two, I happened to know that his good lady was sitting next to him, which raised serious questions of good manners. Number three, I was enjoying some serious chewage. So I let him talk to my answering machine, while I sent emails back to him — “texts” on his phone, on which he would comment to the answering machine. He kept signing off but not, snagged by my latest message. A coup de grâce was called for. “Ciao, babe,” I wrote. Never you mind what he said.

In the late afternoon, when I had done all the regular reading and writing, I was ruthless with the freezer. You don’t want to know the aggregate weight of tenderloin lumps and rumps that I heaved & hoed. Several interesting bags of seasoned breadcrumbs met the same fate.

The new order is simple: emergency resources are lined up on the upper freezer door shelf. There’s a shell steak from Agata & Valentina that I will consume and replace within the month if it hasn’t been called for on the impromptu. A handful of shrimp, a chicken breast, a small strip of salmon filet — all of those would make tasty risotto soffriti. Unlike the steak, they won’t be replaced.

While I was cleaning in the kitchen, I watched the end of Firewall and the beginning of The Fugitive. Harrison Ford is so sturdy! I mean, his movies are. When they’re new, you think, eh, this isn’t great. But watch them a couple of times on DVD and they become indispensable.

Sometimes I wonder what it was like to be married to Mr Ford back in the days when he supported himself as a carpenter. Most of the time, I can imagine. He must have been amazingly convincing.

I learned a lot about Adderall and Provigil and Modafinil from Margaret Talbot’s New Yorker article about “neuroenhancers.” Everyone in the story seems to live in a Land of the Pathetic Gerbils that, even with my high balcony, I can’t see from here, thank goodness. (I also read Guillermo Martínez’s story, but more about that tomorrow.)

Before dinner — I found a tub of my ragù among the leftovers — I spent an hour with my Vagrants writeup. I’ve got to finish the piece in order to comply with the new rule that I mentioned on Sunday. To make things worse, Lake Overturn, Vestal McIntyre’s novel, arrived today. He’ll be reading from the book on Tuesday at McNally Jackson. I’ll want to have read at least as far as whatever passage he selects.

Here’s the other title that arrived today. The book itself is huge — and very red. I do so want to read it on the crosstown bus.

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