Saturday, June 04, 2005

Oh, am I READY for Vacay!

Starting tomorrow, I'll be vacationing in various places along the East coast. Today there's laundry, packing, notes for dogsitter, blah, blah, blah. But in my heart, I'm already there.

I have tested the concept, and I should be able to blog from the road. I have a Palm Tungsten C with wifi, and a little setup from AvantGo that should make it work. I think links and formatting may be a little challenging, but I think it'll be fun to try.

Anyhoo, for today, if you want to get your head into the vacation mindset, here's a survey of lavish, tasty convertibles from MSNBC. The downside is they link you to a Forbes site with annoying splash screens and auto slide shows. Still, seeing some of these beauties is worth a tiny hassle. Which would you pick? It's hard to argue with the Boxster, but I must disagree that the new Mustang relies too much on retro styling. Beauty doesn't go out of style. I've always believed if you put modern automotive technology in some of our favorite classic silhouettes, even as limited editions, you'd need bigger spreadsheets to chart the profits. Look at the VW Bug and PT Cruiser. Make today's responsive, monster-engined muscle car in 1967's Mustang body and you could name your price, I'd say.

What's a vacation without idle reading? This week, a friend of mine, Laura Caldwell, has released her fourth(?) book, Look Closely, a suspense set in a resort town that's perfectly sized to shove into a beach bag for a getaway. Her last effort, The Year of Living Famously, is an effervescent trip through the world of overnight celebrity and, based on the reports of people to whom I've recommended it, a can't-miss choice for sand and sun. But if your tastes run to the grittier, seamier side of Hollywood noir, you can read John Scalzi's Agent to The Stars free online, or order your own hardcopy. Scalzi is also the author of the critically and popularly acclaimed scifi novel, Old Man's War, a fresh tale of old minds in young bodies that many compare to Heinlein and Haldeman. I put links to Amazon pages, but that's not a tacit endorsement, merely a way to display the goodies.

For my plane ride tomorrow, this one: Fade to Blonde from the also retro, but oh-so-hip Hard Case Crime, the home of newly hard-boiled reprints and original paperback issues. At $7 a pop, sporting glorious cover art from masters of the form, you'll want a subscription to receive the newest pulp monthly. I'm planning a rewrite of another manuscript of mine into a more copacetic form that I can pitch to this imprint. Reading every title they've made is simply research. That's right...research.

I'm practically taking a working vacation. How do I expense the sunscreen?

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