Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An ode to magazines

Magazines are extremely portable and easy to read on the train. There is no complicated folding in fourths involved, meaning you can actually turn the pages while hanging on to a subway pole. You can fold them in half, if you must, to squeeze them into a purse or roll them into a tube and just carry them like that. You don't need to worry about creasing their spines or accidentally ripping pages when you turn them.  

They are disposable, although I do feel a little bit of remorse about throwing them away (or recycling), especially if an issue is extra interesting. Maybe someone out there would enjoy that article on the wacky CEO of Whole Foods! (That's definitely not the most interesting article I've ever read, just the most recent. I'm actually only reluctantly subscribing to the NYer this year.)

They show up in my mailbox, all ready to be flipped through*, not necessitating a trip to the store or even powering up my computer.

*Note: I do not actually flip through my magazines. I read them cover to cover, only skipping what bores me and then turning the page to discover another wonderful and short gem. I have considered flipping through them or at least perusing the table of contents and reading the most interesting articles first, but I can't bring myself to do it. It seems wrong! The magazine was carefully laid out in a certain order on purpose, right? It was clearly meant to be read that way. (Do not dispute this method. It is my method. You stick to your methods.)

Magazine pages can be ripped out, dog-eared, cut, spilled on, sat on, wrinkled, rumpled, sweat on, and used to squash bugs, among other things. And yet we can still read on. Long live the magazine, I hope.

Unlike the newspaper, magazines do not go stale the day they arrive. Why, a monthly, in theory, lasts a month! There is so little pressure with magazines, unless you subscribe to multiple magazines. Then there is a little bit of pressure. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Greetings from London

At Newark airport one receives a plastic (metallic colored) knife with a regular metal fork when eating at a sit-down restaurant. On the plane, we received regular metal knives. 

The veg/vegan meal on the plane always comes with a cup of water, but the regular meals come with none.

The majority of British beer is not that exciting to me. I do like the London Porter very much, though. 

I'm currently at the Cleveland Arms, near our hotel, waiting for Jeff to finish watching Dr. Who. He is SO excited to be seeing it first run on BBC while in England. They have Leffe on tap at this bar. I ordered a pint, which may not have been the wisest choice, considering I could have had a half pint. And considering that I just drank a shot of espresso before this. My tummy hates me. (note: I don't drink coffee normally.)

Our hotel room is very small by American standards, about the same size as the one we had in Kyoto, actually. The bathroom in this one is basically a shower with a toilet and a sink in it. (Things get a bit wet.)

The night we arrived, we went out to Hampton Court to meet up with a colleague of mine. We went to a cozy pub where a beagly mutty creature lifted his leg on the fake Xmas tree. An old dude with long hair, sitting by the fire, said to the dog's owner, when he came over to clean up the mess, "I'm a puppy!" The dog's owner, who half-heartedly swabbed at the floor beneath the tree, replied, "Well, I'm not housetraining you!" (Note: the dog was no puppy either.)

At a pub this evening an actual puppy made off with Jeff's hat while tahe owner sat back and laughed. 

When crossing streets in London, even after reading the signs indicating to look left or right, I cannot help but quickly glance in the direction from which my gut expects a car to appear.