Weekend Update:

Interesting times! (I wish.) My friend Migs, in Manila, writes to say that he may have one of those English editions of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom that published an earlier draft of the novel. Migs doesn’t want to read it if it’s not the author’s final cut (so to speak), and I couldn’t agree more. But I’d love to get my hands on the draft. What did Mr Franzen think that he ought to change? Almost forgot: I’ll send Migs the copy of Freedom that I bought two weeks ago, when I couldn’t find the copy that I’d read. The copy that I’d read did eventually turn up, but in a very strange place. That’s how it has been around here this year: things get stashed in very strange places. 

It occurred to me today that this urge to sweep out cluttered corners, getting rid of books that I’m probably never going to look at again and pitching bags of old papers as if I were unfamiliar with the very concept of “archives,” is the masculine correlative of what women of a certain age call “work.” The object is the same: I want to travel lighter and with fewer wrinkles. I want to get rid of the part of my past that is mere dead weight. The clincher to this metaphor is the fact that I find the process of streamlining my life to be the most important thing that’s going on in it — together with an awareness that it is no more interesting to anyone else, and only slightly less repulsive, than immediate effects of plastic surgery. The difference is that recently rejuvenated women have the sense to retreat to wings of private hospitals. Retiring in decorous silence doesn’t seem to be an option for me: in the Blogosphere, silence is, if not death, non-existence.

There are good reasons for hoping that the work is almost complete, at least in its most disruptive phase. The domestic upheaval that began last month, when we had the entry to the apartment painted (what New Yorkers call the “foyer,” heaven knows why), may have ended yesterday morning, when Quatorze gave me a hand with schlepping eight shopping bags full of books to the storage unit. The books were displaced by CDs, which lost their shelving (Ms NOLA has it now) when I decided that the hallway leading to the blue room, painted the same deep green as the foyer, ought to be — but never mind; this is too boring to write about. It’s enough to say that my CD collection, which is very large for one that’s free of freebies, has, while remaining quite accessible, become invisible. I don’t really play CDs anymore. I still buy them by the bushel, but after they’ve been uploaded onto iTunes, they go back into their sleeves more or less permanently. I listen to MP3 playlists on my Nano collection, which is colossal for one that’s free of freebies. 

In the meantime, I acquired a new computer and a new table to put it on. I can say that for the first time in 25 years of computer use I am sitting comfortably. Working with a new text editor (KompoZer) is not so comfortable, but FrontPage is not compatible with Windows 7; at least one basic operation (inserting hyperlinks) crashes the app. Can’t have that. 

The TV season galloped toward its finale this evening. In three weeks, we’ll be back to having Sunday dinner at any old time, and the cable box will go dark for another three quarters. Rubicon wasn’t nearly as terrible as it usually is, even if we all knew that Will Travers would survive the assasination attempt in a more or less rinky-dink manner. I hope that I’ll get to the bottom, before the season ends, of my visceral dislike of Michael Cristofer, who may be doing such a good job of playing the bizarrely-named former Fisher’s Islander Truxton Spangler that I want to kill him. And, while I like the actor John Slatttery perfectly well, I hope that Roger Sterling will kill himself next week. I was ready for suicide to occur this evening, and rather disappointed when it didn’t.I think that Joan was, too. 

Speaking of Christina Hendricks, Life As We Know It, with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, opens on Friday, and I can’t wait. The scene in which Mr Duhamel’s character pushes a newly-walking toddler back down onto the floor so that the moment can be virginally re-enacted for his domestic collaborator is already the funniest thing that I have ever seen in a trailer.

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