Monday, February 28, 2011

I've been on a roll lately

I. Levi, on a Westlake jag:

What must it have been like to be [Donald E.] Westlake's agent? You'd know you were going to get a manuscript to sell every nine months or so, and you'd know that it would never be less than a well-crafted piece of work . . . but that's about it. You'd hope, one assumes, for a Dortmunder novel or a Parker novel, but instead you might get, say, a Dortmunder novella, two novellas related to the film industry assembled into a single book, or a satire of the publishing industry. And those are just the ones I happened to read this week! —IBRL

II. Levi, on building a new drink for Chicago:

As research, I ordered a Manhattan. It’s smooth. So smooth. A broad Fifth Avenue of sophistication. It knows how to tie a bow tie. It tastes like all the best parts of bourbon and none of the parts that used to be so helpful in battlefield surgery. Did I mention its smoothness?

The Loop should not be like that. Here’s how The Loop should be. The first sip opens your eyes wide, so you look like one of those just-graduated-from-UW kids falling for the dude running the shell game on the “L.” The second sip makes you wonder whether your shoulders are broad enough that you can read Carl Sandburg’s three-volume biography of Lincoln. The third sip knows a guy who knows a guy who can get you seasonal work driving a snowplow at O’Hare. The fourth sip has you fishing in your wallet for a Big Jackson so you can get in on some of that shell game action. The fifth sip convinces you to take out papers to run for alderman. The sixth sip convinces you that it’s not even worth taking the trouble to go vote. No one has ever taken a seventh sip.

The Loop could come with a little blown-out umbrella.

IBRL, the annex

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