Housekeeping Note:
Erratic

If you ask me, this is the cliché to beat all clichés.

I have made a pact with the gods of connectivity: I am not going to discuss my issues with them until I return to New York. If you check out the site and don’t see anything new, you’ll know why. There: done.

Nor, I think, am I going to share the secret of my equanimity on this junket. I have been calm and collected most of the time, even when I was certain that the plane was about to blow up for who knows what reason (the flight was one of the most turbulence-free that I have ever enjoyed). The only loss so far has been my water-bottle, which I neglected to empty before security at San Juan this morning. I forgot to remember to do something about it. They wouldn’t let me drink what was in the bottle, by the way, so as to save it. I had a choice: either I lost it or I returned to the back of the line and went through all the screening lines again. Hey, I’ll live without my Rubbermaid quart. The agent was kind enough to strip off the ragg wool sock that serves as insulation. I still have that.

I’ve done little with my time but read The Guest List, a new book by Ethan Mordden that I didn’t know anything about until the other day when I saw it in the window at Madison Avenue Books. It has filled me with the desire to know more about Dorothy Thompson, Sinclair Lewis’s sometime wife but more importantly the model for Katharine Hepburn’s Woman of the Year. There are some wonderfully dishy lines — extraordinary, really; Brendan Gill is dismissed as a “lavish nonentity,” a phrase I’m furious with myself for never having thought of, à propos of anybody. I’ll have more to say about the book later, but for the moment I’ll report with relief that it is a book, as monumental as any. While it would be deeply wrong (and stupid) to say that the book is about Ethan Mordden himself, it does remain a magnificent vehicle for his sensibility, which happens to be one of the very important ones.