Been meaning to post, but kinda too busy: it seems I was right in my predictions as to who would win the city-wide elections in New York City (not the men I wanted, but those I predicted). The big surprise was that Mayor Bloomberg got only 51% of the vote (compared to Bill Thompson's 46%). Pundits are saying Bloomberg spent about $175-$200 per vote he received with his massive, personally financed campaign. In other words, if he'd paid everyone who voted (whether they voted for him or against him) $100, he would have spent less money, and more directly affected the economy of New York City for the better. Oh well.
Polls had Bloomberg running 15-20% ahead in the weeks and days before the election. For him to win by such a slim margin (after outspending his less-qualified opponent by like 15-to-1) is a very loud signal from the voters. Originally, I'd planned to write this post saying "Now that he's won a third term by such a large margin, it's pretty clear that we the people are probably willing to overturn term limits, and we ought to put the question on the ballot." But now, seeing that he won by such a slim margin, it tells me my fellow citizens really do think term limits are a good idea (I so disagree with them on that point).
In the end, I'm glad Bloomberg won (I really didn't think I'd get enough votes to take it), because he was the best choice of those on the ballot. But now, I'm just a little worried: what's the next law he'll decide he can ignore?
Just so you don't think yesterday was all grumpiness, after getting off the subway in Manhattan, Kit and I walked around, looking at Christmas decorations (which are still loudly in evidence), and had a good time together in the City. We also stopped in the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue at 46th Street, and I was very excited to see that my book is still on the end-cap with several other general-interest trivia/history books. It may not be a best-seller, but in my limited book-publishing experience, this is a remarkable run for a book in such a prominent position in a bookstore (admittedly, it's facing away from the escalator, at the shelf-lined wall, but still, it's displayed face out on its own little shelf on an end-cap with about a dozen other books). So, happiness!
There are times when I go home, or am at home, when I feel that I'm missing out on all the wonderful things New York City has to offer; when I feel I'm not doing enough, just puttering my way through life. This week is not one of them.
After recovering from the illness that was last weekend, I kind of missed Monday. Tuesday was my book launch party (see elsewhere for reports on that). Wednesday was recovery from the party, but also opportunities to talk about it, and I actually saw my book on a shelf in a bookstore.
Last night, however, feels like an entire week's worth of experience: we went to a book launch party in an animation studio downtown. Kit has been to Curious Pictures before, but it was new to me, and it was a wonderful, "only in New York" location: enter a narrow hall in a narrow, nondescript building down near the East Village, ride the elevator to the sixth floor, and enter a huge converted loft space with multiple rooms of multiple sizes and functions, lots of people (none of whom I knew before we got there) celebrating the launch of a book (Ghost Radio by Leopoldo Gout) and hanging out having a good time. One room had the video game Rock Band going on a big screen, with four stations set up for a continually rotating group of players; another room had a trailer for the book running; and still another had the studio's annual Halloween pumpkin carving contest entrants (there were some wonderful pumpkins in there: trust animators to come up with the truly bizarre). We weren't able to stay all the way to the end, but minutes before we walked out, Julia Stiles (the actress) walked in, mostly unnoticed by the partying throngs (though I recognized her).
We had to leave early to hop the subway back uptown, to Times Square, because we'd been invited to watch the dress rehearsal of David Mamet's American Buffalo (a revival opening next month). I told the producer who invited us that I wouldn't write about the show (like I said, it was dress rehearsal), but the experience was great, in a theatre I haven't been to before. It felt very intimate, much more than simply sitting in a theatre watching a performance.
After the show, walking back through Times Square, I realized we could, like Calvin, declare this day well and truly seized… except that it wasn't over yet.
Arriving home, I glanced at the mail, and found a disappointing rejection from Analog (hey, these things happen). And then I ignored the rest of the paper mail in favor of turning on the computer to read the electronic mail and do some work on SFScope. In my electronic in-box, I found galleys for a piece that is now scheduled to run on Monday in the Philadelphia Inquirer, so that sort of made up for the Analog rejection. And then there was confirmation of three more speaking engagements in Ohio in early December. Finally, back to the paper mail, I discovered a check for the last Los Angeles Times piece I did.
Other than only sleeping about two hours last night, I'd say that day really was seized and properly used. I've just gotta figure out how to keep experiencing so much without sleeping; it's a struggle.