Office/Diary: Friday


Quatorze is a god. You should be so lucky as to have him put your house in order.

¶ Matins: Happy Hallowe’en from Brooks Peters! (An Open Book)

Among many other virtues, he is a source of great and abiding courage. “Done,” he would say, meaning not only that there would be no more discussion about, say, the silver tray with the dented gallery, but that the object would no longer be on the premises by sundown.

¶ Lauds: A slideshow of Harlem-infused images by Ralph de Carava, who died the other day at the age of 89. (Los Angeles Times)  A video of Ingmar Bergman’s FÃ¥rö retreat, soon to be an artists’ colony. (W) (via Arts Journal)

The stuff that we took up to HousingWorks was the merest sidelight on the day’s activities. And yet it was my only exercise. The rest of the time, I watched Quatorze while he assembled the temporary bookshelf, or cleared the hall closet of document boxes, or hung pictures in improbable corners.

¶ Prime: Floyd Norris very reasonably argues that the solution to the high-pay stink on Wall Street is to curb its high revenues. He points to inflated charges, business concentration, reliance upon overly-complex instruments, tax evasion, and excessive risk-taking as unseemly practices that, if curtailed, might bring bonuses back down to earth. (NYT)

Best of all, I did not watch while Quatorze shepherded the document boxes to the storage unit. No! I stayed home. I stayed home, and piled the big art books onto the new temporary bookshelf. While he dealt with the boxes, and the driver of the moving van, and the Shining-like atmosphere at the Moribunda Beach Club.

¶ Tierce: The world’s tallest treehouse — complete with basketball court. Looking at the pictures makes us feel much better about our place. (inhabitat; via The Infrastructurist)

The temporary bookshelf is a colossal (and not very well-made) number from Home Depot that I bought when I learned that the bookshelf that I really want will take “months” for Scully & Scully to deliver. On or about the joyful day of its arrival, the steel shelving will go to the storage unit, where I’m sure it will be very helpful.

¶ Sext: Wagner’s Ring — in 45 seconds. (via; thanks, Fossil!)

While Quatorze was setting it up, though, I was appalled that I could not remember the name for the Eighties vogue for industrial fixtures in high-end home decorating. It came to me while he was at the storage unit, and when I told him what it was, he couldn’t believe that he’d forgotten, too: “High Tech.” The fact that more than 25 years have passed since then, together with the fact that the term was long ago appropriated by people (computer users and others) with a better claim to it, may explain our oblivion.

¶ Nones: Bans on stitched clothing and on alcohol will make the spread of swine flu at this year’s hajj a lot easier. (NYT)

And so the Great Domestic Reorientation of 2009 comes to an end — and, with it, these hybrid entries.

¶ Vespers: A very brisk but fully-packed  review of Ted Striphas’s The Late Age of Print,  at Survival of the Book.

Next week, the new, shorter Daily Office will continue on its own, while Dear Diary entries will no longer be interrupted by pesky blockquotes.

¶ Compline: A new book, The Other Side of Sadness, by George Bonanno, more or less tosses the idea of “working through grief” out the window. Most people mourn briefly, and then return to normal life. This is okay. (XXfactor; via The Morning News)

The longer Daily Office will reappear in January, but not here — at Portico, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary at some point early in the New Year. (If you can tell me the date, and back it up, there’s $50 in it for you. This offer does not apply to persons named Megan O’Neill.)

Bon weekend à tous!