Saturday, May 22, 2004
Not a bad start to the weekend. I treated myself by scrambling eggs with a little bit of onion, dill, salt, pepper, cream, and smoked salmon. It’s one of my favorite breakfasts. It always makes me feel special. I haven’t cooked much the past few days, and that’s probably added to my general malaise. Cooking inspires me.
I stayed up far too late last night finished Sara George’s novel. I had a slow start today, but wouldn’t have traded that time for anything.
Four episodes of Angel Hunt today – finally! That gets me through this week’s episodes and next week’s. I also did next week’s episodes for Tapestry. So it’s just The Widow’s Chamber left to do for next week.
Angel Hunt is always easier to write in four-episode chunks, which means I sit down and do it about every two weeks. It doesn’t flow in shorter spurts.
I need to keep an eye on the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont this afternoon. It’s an important prep race for the Belmont, and I need to finish the Preakness/Belmont article tomorrow. Looks like Azeri will run against the boys – including Funny Cide – in the Met Mile on Memorial Day – and I’ll be there! It’ll be fun. Azeri is an awesome horse. I know she had a bad day right before the Derby, but I’m sure she’ll do better now.
I’m trying to decide which of the dozen or so Belmont parties to which I’ve been invited I should attend. I should go to the track to watch history in the making, but with over 100,000 people expected, I would lose my mind. I don’t do well in crowds. I’ll attend one of the parties and watch it on a big screen. And take lots of notes, so I can complete my article.
Found a couple of potential markets for my work. Now I just have to figure out which pieces in search of a home are suitable to which market. It’s like matchmaking, or setting up a blind date. You hope no one gets hurt.
A phone call from a friend, and, on impulse (and invitation), I spent the afternoon in Old Greenwich. We sat on the deck, the green grass rolling down to the gray green water, reading back issues of The New Yorker , drinking wine, and playing with the two big black dogs. I’d brought a notebook, but took the afternoon off from actual writing.
Fixed chicken with rosemary, tarragon, and parsley for dinner. I always feel better when I take the time to cook. Taking notes as I make up recipes has become important. Far too often, I’ve improvised, it’s turned out well, and then I can’t remember what I did.
Although I did my full weight training regimen yesterday, I did a light one today. I was in the mood for it.
I’m tempted to pitch some article ideas for a gambling magazine, especially on horse racing. I’m concerned, however; I have friends in the business who own, who train, and, especially, who ride. When I wrote my internet handicapping column a few years ago, I made a pact with them – I never asked for tips. I always read the charts, looked at the horses, and made my own decisions. Sometimes, I’d ask them questions after a race, but never before – other than making a phone call before a big race to wish someone luck. They never asked me who I picked for the column, and never got angry if I didn’t pick their horse. And that’s the way it would continue. But would anyone believe that? My concern is that, if the articles do well and gain an audience, could it hurt my friends? Would they be suspected of giving me inside information, even though they didn’t? I’ll ask a few of them, over the next few days. If it looks like it could hurt them in any way, I’ll pass on the pitch. The money wouldn’t be enough to retire on, but I could get some nice, steady paid work out of it. It would be nice, but not crucial. And, since I haven’t even pitched my ideas yet, there’s no guarantee I’d even be hired. So many people assume racing is corrupt that I wouldn’t want to put any of my friends and acquaintances in a position that could even seem compromising to their integrity. Because all of them have a lot of integrity.