|New Dorp Lane, Staten Island, NY; |
except for the cars,
the view hasn't changed in at least 50 years.
Shopping is basically done, although I have to brave the grocery store sometime this morning for tomorrow's feast. Per popular acclamation at chez czar, we're giving the czarina the day off from heavy cooking and doing a far simpler low country boil just for the family. It's the kind of thing we typically only make when there's twenty or so people around, so I'm going to halve the recipe. We'll throw some newspapers on the table and make believe it's summertime. And no dishes to wash.
Many interesting projects lately, and I wish I was wrapping up one of them this morning instead of what I'm working on: an index that seems not to want to go away. I've started placing the PDF and the Word doc side by side on the screen rather than looking at paper. Every second counts. Maybe I'll become the Frederick Taylor of the editorial world. Now if I could just keep my fingers out of my mouth while editing or proofreading and keep that red pen close to the paper.
When our younger son came home from college last week, I asked him if he'd signed up for any shifts at a local drive-thru he'd been working at for some years. He said no, but I knew that he needed some holiday funds (and I had become used to the intern labor), so I asked him if he wanted to do some word processing for me. I had about nine hundred pages of manuscripts that needed editorial changes keyed in. He did an OK job, but his reactions to the work were interesting. On job one, he pondered, "There wouldn't be so much to do if authors just followed the right style to begin with." On job two, he asked, "How hard is it for them to get the reference style right?" Out of the mouths of nineteen-year-old babes . . .
When Colleen (former intern) returns for winter/spring semester, I'll be talking to her about paid work for keying in changes. In the right circumstances, it saves me enough time and is worth the money to have someone input corrections to a Word document. We were speaking about this as a family last week, and we chuckled that, unfortunately, the czarina is not the person to help me in this area -- for a number of reasons. As I put it quite simply to the czarina's laughter, "You won't do what I want you to do when I want you to do it." Working for me is probably only slightly worse than being married to me.
The two books that my younger son slaved through were both rather interesting. One was a first-person account of a South Vietnamese army/government official's experiences from the mid-1940s until his escape in the early 1980s after imprisonment by the new regime, although the author began in the Viet Minh. The author knew John Paul Vann and Daniel Ellsberg and people like that from the mid-1950s on. Having come to consciousness during the height of the Vietnam War, I found the information on French and US involvement in SE Asia, and especially the internal Vietnamese happenings, fascinating.
[Great note on this book. As the coauthor, who is my primary contact, told me, "The [Vietnamese] author is 88 and not in great health. We're hoping he holds on until the book is published." So sweet. The book has been in various stages of writing for 24 years. The coauthor, who is concerned about his colleague's age and health, is 85.]
The second book was about the Fed's operations during the credit crisis of 2008. The editor was almost apologetic when sending the book out. "It's about economics, and many copyeditors don't like books with a lot of numbers." After explaining that I used to be the lead editor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he was relieved and I suspect a little surprised. I suspect, also, that I'll now have an inside track on copyediting any books dealing with banking or economics coming from this press. Fine by me. They pay fast.
What I didn't mention was that I'd probably still be at that job if my boss wasn't one of the most despicable human beings I've ever met in my life. Her name was . . . oh, it's Christmas. Never mind.
I've had a few other things going on, it seems, but I have to finish this index NOW. Then to the store(s), then wrapping presents, then back to work on an intense little proofing job that must go out on Monday. At least it's not indexing.
The photo above comes from my hometown. Staten Island is part of New York City yet a world of its own. When the czarina was first there in 1985 and we went down New Dorp Lane, she said, "This reminds me of small towns in the South," the point being, "I had no idea that the evil urban Northeast full of you Yankees and Jews was actually like the rest of the world." Staten Island, when it's not acting more like Alabama, can be a very nice place.
Happy holidays, folks. Glad you're out there.