Not having kids, I don't really read them, but in re: this week's story from the Times magazine--I'm a fan of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, and of her campaign to rehabilitate the humble meatloaf. A cup of Parmesan? I'm not going to argue with that.
 
 
In this week's issue of The Economist.
 
 
He was messing with Bunker Hunt, who then went on to help create an earlier commodities boom. My first piece for The Daily, about the Hunt brothers' silver spree.
 
 
"I discovered that Bristol is one of Britain's foxiest cities..."
 
 
People are always complaining that local news shows ignore pressing global issues in favor of human interest stories. All I can say is, in what world does this story, about a cat who burgles things from his neighbors, not qualify as pressing?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whoa, here's a flash of anger I didn't expect, in Tina Fey's essay in the current New Yorker:

I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women, though, they're all "crazy." I have a suspicion--and hear me out, because this is a rough one--that the definition of "crazy" is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.

The only person I can think of who has escaped the "crazy" moniker is Betty White, which, obviously, is because people still want to have sex with her.

Not being familiar with the entertainment industry, I'll take her word for it, and no wonder she's angry if she sees that routinely. What interests me here is the complaint treated as comedy, softened by the self-deprecating clause in the middle, and bordered by the joke about Betty White, which reads as an abrupt tonal shift. There's a current of genuine frustration running through this essay, of the same strain that underlies her character, Liz Lemon, on "30 Rock." 
 
 
At Slate, John Swansburg admires the "accidental poetry" of the American Kennel Club's breed standards:

"The dachsund's supporters seem...eager to dispel the notion that the low-slung dogs are merely accessories of Park Avenue doyennes. The ideal dachshund, we're told, is "courageous to the point of rashness." Judges are also given this stern reminder: "Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault." Scars acquired while trying to shimmy out of a hot-dog costume are not considered honorable."

Funny. As Mr Swansburg points out, there must be a certain amount of politics in the process, and I wonder how this trickles down to affect the average dog owner. It's fine to be euphemistic about a Jack Russell terrier--"Their intensity for life is one of their most endearing traits"--but it seems a little disingenuous not to mention that those things yap like news anchors.

On another level, though, this is a testament to the fact that the creative instinct is irrepressible. This reminds me of Nora Ephron's 1976 essay on Gourmet magazine:

"I look at [the "You Asked For It" section] for two reasons: first, on the chance that someone has written in for the recipe for the tarte Tatin at Maxwell's Plum in New York, which I would like to know how to make, and second, for the puns. "Here is the scoop du jour," goes the introduction to peach ice cream Jordan Pond House. "We'd be berry happy," Gourmet writes in the course of delivering a recipe for blueberry blintzes. ""Rather than waffling about, here is a recipe for chocolate waffles." "To satisfy your yen for tempura, here is Hibachi's shrimp tempura." I could go on, but I won't; I do want to mention, though, that the person who writes these also seems to write the headlines on the "Sugar adn Spice" column--at least I think I detect the same fine hand in such headlines as "Curry Favor," "The Berry Best," and "Something Fishy.""

It's like Dr Malcolm says: life finds a way. For more on dachsunds, see The Economist.
 
 
"I recently hurt my knee because I fell on the street. But it didn't upset me, since the fall came just after reading this book, which is about rewiring our brains to heal ourselves. I started walking, and it wasn't difficult. Words are power. And a book is full of words. Be careful what power you get from it. But know that you do."

On The Brain that Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge.