Friday, June 16, 2017

Smell Me. No. Smell me!

Despite my claims that I'm a yoga-doing, weight-lifting lady of leisure, reality is that while I no longer work 60-70 hours a week, I still work some. I'm writing pieces for an editorial department of a school of a large, prestigious university just up the road a-ways, and thanks to the good graces of my previous employer, I get a primo column slot every week where they let me write intelligently about most anything I want. (Emphasis on intelligently—they don't let me write just any old shit. Standards, people! Standards!) My rule for taking on work is this: If it doesn't pay well, it has to be interesting. If it's not interesting, it has to pay well.

Also in a few weeks, some journo pals and I are going to do a two-week intensive class, training high school kids from East Salinas to tell their own stories about their own neighborhoods. We'll be putting together a website to showcase their work—more on that as the project unfolds.

In the meantime, I'm ruthlessly ripping off my friend blackbird (who I get to see the weekend before July 4 as we voyage to New York for a wedding—I'm told blackbird, her very tall husband, my tall husband and I will be hitting a Fire Island beach for the day) and providing you with links of things to see, read and do.

1. Wednesday was one of the worst days on record, wasn't it? I went to bed Tuesday night with the news of the London apartment block blaze and woke up to shootings in D.C. and San Francisco. Here's a piece by an emergency room physician in Baltimore on what bullets do to a body. And, as Jason Kottke pointed out, there was a much longer piece done by Jason Fagone in HuffPo earlier this year on the same subject.

2. The Digital First Media-owned Monterey Herald just laid off one of its two photographers and its last remaining on-site copyeditor. DFM is owned by Alden Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in "distressed assets." That's one photographer for one massive county for a paper that used to be a daily. If you aren't distressed enough by the demise of local media, this piece by my friend and colleague Julie Reynolds should get you there.

Interesting to note there have been offers by local consortiums to buy the Herald, but Alden has refused them all because they think the paper (which at this point amounts to the goodwill once engendered by the name—they've already sold the presses, the headquarters and gutted the staff) is worth $10 million. I'm told the most recent group to take a run at an offer includes former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

3. If you haven't heard of Next Draft, you should. Curator/editor Dave Pell describes it as a quick and entertaining look at the day's most fascinating news. I like it because it's in my inbox every day. Today's riffs include the Amazon-buying-Whole Foods deal (with links aplenty) that include a piece from Mental Floss titled "15 Fun Facts About Whole Foods."

Can I possibly get black cherry Siggi's delivered by drone soon? That's all I want to know.

4. SUE the T-Rex took on Merriam-Webster in a Twitter fight and lost, bigly.

5. I bought some pants off of eBay. I'm not yet sure how I feel about these pants. My husband says they send a mixed message (am I a skirt or am I pants?) that he finds disturbing. They're a little too big on me. May need tailoring. I also bought a suitcase (so I'll stop stealing my husband's) to put said pants in for all the summer voyaging we're doing. Vegas on Sunday, then New York on June 30. Then we're mostly home until October, when we head back to New York for a month.

I think that just about covers it for now. As my friend Claudia says, adelante!