Showing posts from May, 2014

The Outsides: Bespoke (Glamour was earlier)

AsI said last time, I’ve been away for a short vacation. On the way home, two issues of  Glamour  magazine kept me company. Long story short: I used to subscribe but stopped, and I didn’t realize how much I had missed it until that day of travel. Then when I got home, I dove back into reading books, and had a similar experience—I got to learn about something I wouldn’t have predicted I’d be interested in. The book in question: The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, A Son, and a Suit, by JJ Lee. (Aside: as I’ve mentioned, I am doing this project in which I’m reading all the books we have before buying more. Book club books, and books I am reading for a specific project, are exempt. Which is how I justified reading this one. JJ Lee judged a contest I helped administer, and I had seen an excerpt of his book in a magazine but hadn’t read it. So I finally did.) Which brings us to the concept of “bespoke”: Someone measures you and creates a suit pattern (and later a suit

The Outsides: Glamour (and, later, Bespoke)

Glamour as in the magazine. I'm just back from a short time away, and I had the opportunity to read two issues of Glamour  on two airplanes. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't be so generous--I wouldn't leave the issue with the Lena Dunham cover(s) for another lucky passenger. Yep. I'd keep it. I'd hoard it. (Eventually I'd send it to recycle, and I know that, so that's more or less why I left it.) My sister gave me the issues of the magazine; she'd received them as a promotional incentive for something-or-other. I wouldn't have bought them myself; it would never have occurred to me. I'm completely out of the habit of browsing magazine racks. But ye gods, what a serendipitous find they were! See, Glamour  and I go way back. It kept me company from my mid-high school years through my mid-30s or so. I loved it for SO many reasons: * For giving me a glimpse into an idealized version of urban life, chock-full of freelancers, public rel

Tre: What I learned from reading a copy of The New Yorker every day (except weekends) during Lent in 2014

Part1: Why I did it. Part2: A few lessons from the process. Part 3. Would I do it again? Yes. I enjoyed the feeling of learning something. Reading some of these articles is like going to a dinner party and getting into the BEST conversation. Someone else has done a bunch of research and you get the most interesting tidbits. Other people’s enthusiasm is catching. This world is a fascinating place. I enjoyed getting through a bunch of back issues—a diminishing To Be Read pile; a growing Recycle pile. When many of your activities recur often (dishes, laundry, meals) and the important stuff feels as if moves at a glacial pace, (essays, stories), it’s nice to be doing something with visible progress. No. The time I spent reading books (for pleasure) fell off drastically during this time. I’m in a couple of book clubs, so I made time to read those books (which is why I had to catch up a little on the magazines nearly every weekend). But I didn’t read other than that

Deux: What I learned from reading a copy of The New Yorker every day (except weekends) during Lent in 2014

Part 2: How I defined “read” and other lessons of content. Last time I wrote a little about a project I finished during Lent this year: reading an issue of The New Yorker every weekday. Here’s a follow-up. By way of defining the term “read,” I’ll be honest: I didn’t read every word. I knew it wouldn’t make sense to commit to reading every single word of every issue. So I went in with some expectations around what I would and would not read. At the risk of sounding like Donald Rumsfeld and his known/unknown knowns/unknowns, here’s how that shook out. Some pieces I knew I’d read, and I did. For example, I read all the short stories (though I didn’t enjoy them all). The fiction is, after all, one of the main reasons I get the magazine in the first place. And then I knew I’d also read articles about writing, especially anything by John McPhee. In fact, anything by John McPhee, regardless of topic. Some pieces I knew I would NOT read, and I didn’t. I skipped nearly ev