In today’s times
My newspaper never showed up yesterday, even after I logged into my NYT digital account to report it missing and asked that another be delivered. It stressed me out all day, this kink in my weekend routine. It threw everything off balance. I took the bus down to see a 2:00 showing of Logan Lucky, but that was sold out so I bought a ticket for the 3:00 instead. I wandered around Lincoln Center for an hour, sitting in the plaza next to the Met and then sitting on the concrete steps outside Alice Tully Hall. There was nobody around. I ate one of those enormous, hugely messy Wafels & Dinges wafels slathered with Nutella (a mistake) and listened to Krista Tippett interview Nikki Giovanni. I watched the traffic from on high for a while:
At 2:50 I reported back to the theater and was told the 3:00 had been canceled. Technical problems, they said. I got a refund & a free ticket for some other time, so I walked home. It was disappointing but not. By then I was so dazed by sugar that I felt sort of blank. I stopped at Book Culture and bought Nikki Giovanni's Chasing Utopia, so the day was giving after all. Somehow the paper knew how it would go.
Today's Times arrived as scheduled (by 7:30, as I prefer), and I found many non-news items to enjoy. It's still strangely cool outside, and it was gray and misty and quiet, as I also prefer.
Exhibit A: Paul Newman's Rolex is coming up for auction and is expected to fetch at least $10 million, which would amuse no one more than Paul Newman:
“As far as he was concerned, it was a tool,” Ms. Newman said. “He definitely didn’t have a strong attachment to things.”
Exhibit B: Celine Dion and her fans:
Meet and greets are usually reserved for performers early in their career, or for those trying to hold on to one. This is not the way Ms. Dion works.
She gives all of herself. She doesn’t want to sound pretentious. She doesn’t want to sound like Mother Teresa. “But they tell me, ‘Don’t talk too much,’ because I’ll make myself sick,” she said. This is difficult for her, to hold back. If you’ve ever seen her perform, if you’ve seen her speak publicly, or if you watched Ms. Dion furiously wipe tears from her cheeks as she spoke about Hurricane Katrina (that video is now making the rounds again because of the Houston flooding), you know this to be true.
Exhibit C: Jason Fried on hiring (Basecamp is my #1 wishlist workplace, but tragically for us all, I am no techie):
Our top hiring criteria — in addition to having the skills to do the job — is, are you a great writer? You have to be a great writer to work here, in every single position, because the majority of our communication is written, primarily because a lot of us work remotely but also because writing is quieter. And we like long-form writing where people really think through an idea and present it.
Exhibit D: this lady at an art show in the Hamptons:
You’re a shoe designer. Are those your shoes?
No. I am a big fan of what they call old lady shoes. These are like orthopedic sandals, you know, for an old lady like me.
I wouldn’t have known. They look kind of chic.
Style has nothing to do with money. I have very eclectic taste, and I don’t spend more than $5 for anything. So it’s called the $5 rule.
Exhibit E: Laura Shapiro on Instagramming your food:
Could Instagram capture today’s version of that story? Could it zero in on the third consecutive night of frozen tacos or the mug of milky Sanka that makes you feel like somebody’s grandfather but has become an unexpected nighttime addiction? Next time you eat a meal that’s certain to be forgettable, that’s the very moment to pull out your phone and hit “share.”