Saturday, June 22, 2019

Summer in the City


I went to dinner at that restaurant with two dear friends last night. We dined on the sidewalk, right where the waiter is clearing that table. It was a perfect summer evening, the air clear and soft like a caress, not too cold, not too humid.

Here's something ironic. I went downtown yesterday for a meeting with the new boss lady of the magazine I do editing for on a freelance basis. A magazine I worked with for many years full time. They laid me off during a cost cutting period in 2013. Truthfully, I was devastated, though it turns out to have been a good development for me. Last year, after the editor in chief who laid me off was laid off herself (magazine publishing can be a brutal business) they called me and asked if I would top edit for them, one issue at first, and then it turned into an extended relationship, month after month, issue after issue, steady and paid. Best of all, I could work from home. Yesterday, the new boss lady asked me to come back to the magazine full time and run the editorial operation on the print side. I can't, I told her, I do book collaborations now. (This woman is ridiculously pretty in person, by the way. Even though she looks stunning in her photographs, they don't begin to do her justice. It's kind of mesmerizing looking into her face. You wonder how anyone can be that beautiful.) 

I was thinking how life is so weird and circular. For now, my freelance gig continues, except she asked that I come into the office once a month to go over the story lineup and give my input, rather than everything coming to me blind at the end. This I did agree to do, though I will have to take care that it doesn't turn into something more. The office is on the other end of the city, in far Brooklyn. Since I take cabs everywhere (my wonky hip) I'll go broke going there more often. Plus, I still have to get the book work done.

In other news, we almost went to war with Iran this week. What the fuck? Trump had actually ordered the strike and then changed his mind. I don't know what reasoning prevailed but I do know it wasn't his concern for the Iranians who would have died in the attack, as he said. He must think we're idiots who will buy that crap, when he goes to court to deny children in for-profit concentration camps on the southern border basic sanitary needs like toothbrushes, soap, sufficient food, blankets, clean clothes, medical care, legal oversight, and basic protection from being abused.

In better news, my daughter and my niece, two adventurous Aries women, went kayaking on the Hudson River this afternoon. Their plan is to end the day at a winery downtown. Oh, to be young an footloose. As for me, I will be chained to my computer from now until July 15, trying to meet my writing deadline. I've hired my niece to transcribe my interviews with my book subject and her circle. I pay her exactly what I pay my regular transcriber, except I enjoy paying it to her much more—family economics is a lovely thing. And if anything on the tape is unclear, she just plays that part back to me and I tell her what was said, with the result that I now get one hundred percent perfect transcripts with no [UNCLEAR]s. After transcribing each tape, she invoices me for the work, and I remit payment right away. The two of us might be sitting at the dining table, but it's all very official. 

I don't really have very much of interest to share. I've been feeling kind of dull, like I need to do something spectacular like travel somewhere exciting and have an experience. But really, even though it's Saturday, I need to get back to work.

10 comments:

  1. I wrote a long comment on how much I enjoyed a post that was mostly about you! And then when I went to publish, my internet went out. BOOM! Not sure if it got through or not. Anyway, it bears repeating that I love you.

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  2. How cool is that to be offered the running of the entire editorial department on the print side. Given the brutality of publishing it's good that you're writing books. Your pictures of New York make me want to be there.

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  3. Life is the experience and yours is far from dull. I'm glad your work is so steady and good.

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  4. A lovely post. So nice when you can work well with family; it's not always that smooth. Rooting for you to get that work DONE, meet that deadline.

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  5. I wish I could be at your table with you, transcribing for you. Have I ever told you that it's what I did, EIGHT HOURS A DAY, in my first job after graduating from college?

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  6. If this is dull, I don't think there's a word to describe my life. You have more incredible experiences in a day than I have in a month! I love reading about your life. And yes, what the fuck is going on in Washington? Sigh.

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  7. ironic that the magazine that let you go now wants you back full time. how did it feel to say 'no'? once a month visit to the office should be doable. as for Trump and the path this country is taking I wonder, is this really different or just out in the open. after all our history is of slavery, genocide, and unending war.

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  8. Ironic. Definitely ironic. They took their time though.

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  9. I like the circular serendipity of this. And family economics, in which I also strongly believe. Good for you :)

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  10. And I think it's your life that is so exciting. You are writer, living and working in New York city. We all think other people's lives are so much more interesting, me too.

    We had a two week holiday which was lovely but it's so nice to be back home to my boring life. I do get how you feel though. It won't take me long before I feel restless and bored again, so tired of getting up at 5am and going to work. We always long for that something else, until we get it and then we no longer want it. Humans are contrary creatures.

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