New York: One day we Garden Staters are going to be condescended to one time too many, remember you live on an island, and cut you off. I'm just saying.
First of all, for those who have been asking, we went to see THE ARTIST on Christmas Day. It was very good, different (clearly), inventive. My life did not change in a significant way, but I enjoyed it, and that's enough. Later in the week we went to see Lysistrata Jones on Broadway. Fun, breezy, very well performed. Not getting nearly enough press.
On to new business:
*I'm writing something new, without a contract, just for myself (until I finish it and send it to Josh). Not a mystery, not like anything that's come before. And it's scaring the living hell out of me. (No, it's not horror. It won't scare YOU...)
*Far too many of the artists I listen to are now dead. Last year I lost Gerry Rafferty and Phoebe Snow. To go with George Harrison, John Lennon, Jim Croce, Eric Woolfson, Harry Chapin, Harry Nilsson, Elliot Smith and Cass Elliott (among others), that's just too much. This is part of getting older, and like most of getting older, I could do without it.
*I can't wait for Wednesday, just so I won't have to hear about Iowa again for another four years. Except when my wife talks about her college years.
*On January 1, the New York Times printed a special section on the Oscars. Dear New York Times: That's too soon. I can still remember who won some of the awards last year.
*I won't be going to Malice Domestic this year. I'm sorry about that; I wish I could go, but it's not possible. The travel budget won't allow it, and it happens to fall on the weekend of my 25th wedding anniversary. I like being married more than I like being an author, so I'll be back at Malice in 2013. Probably not as the guest of honor, but that's understandable.
*Winter break is just long enough to get used to having the kids back home. They they go back to school and we go through the whole "empty nest" thing again. It's cruel, in a weird way.
*Dear Dick Clark: Retire.
*I've been digitizing family photos, and therefore have been looking through every picture we've pretty much ever taken. What's interesting is how the dog has aged. His snout is now almost all white. It's a preview of coming attractions for my beard.
*Where's Old Zealand? (If this is to be believed, it's an island off Denmark.)
*To Whomever is in charge of weather: What we're getting in the Northeast right now is just fine. Don't change a thing. Until April.
*Just to mention it: OLD HAUNTS by E.J. Copperman will be published five weeks from tomorrow. A to-the-second countdown can be found here. But who's counting?
*Pitchers and catchers report in 49 days.
*Getting ready to teach again, starting next week. I always get nervous ahead of time. Isn't that odd?
*Got an amplifier for my acoustic 12-string as a gift. Had no idea how frightening it would be to actually hear what it sounds like when I play.
*I don't understand the animosity toward the Post Office. Who else is going to carry something of yours across the country for 45 cents?
*My son's enthusiasm is persuading me that I should take a look at DOCTOR WHO. Not sure if or when I will, but his opinion is usually pretty valid.
*Josh Getzler is a really good agent. Shannon Jamieson Vazquez is an incredibly talented editor. The readers I hear from are enthusiastic and intelligent. I am really lucky.
*For those who responded: My son Josh's film SCAVENGERS has exceeded the budget amount he was hoping for--we're blown away by the response. Thank you all. Shooting will begin right after OLD HAUNTS publishes in February.