Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Shoe burial ground

I’ve been in overdrive, trying to get the annotated version of Rumored to Exist ready. I have the front cover and back cover designed, and they look cool. The whole book is in FrameMaker, and it’s amazing how smooth things have gone with it. I mean, I use Frame all day long every day, so I should have great faith in its ability, but this project has been wonderful. The footnote numbering problem was a ten second fix; the new template was about five minutes of work; the importing of the document from Word took no time at all. Now I need to finish writing the introduction, and comb through the thing for any style issues, and it will be ready.

Every time I buy new shoes, I do not throw out the old ones, even though I typically wear shoes down to the point where there is a hole all the way through the sole. But I need the backup pair, and there have been many times I’ve bought new shoes that simply didn’t work, and I had to go back to the backups until I could find another store with another shoe that did work. Anyway, today I was sitting in bed and realized I had five identical pairs of white on white Nike Air Force III Mid-height hightops, each right one with a hole right through the toe side of the sole. Each left one was fine. I put them all in a garbage bag and hauled them out – that’s a lot of square feet of space. I wish I could simply replace the soles, but now this paragraph is turning into an Andy Rooney rant, so I’ll shut up.

I have been reading the Chuck Barris book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and I really like it. I don’t know that I’d like the movie so much, but the book has a certain gritty feel to it that reminds me of Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, Elmore Leonard. I’m pretty far into it, I should finish tomorrow. I got the Bukowski book Open All Night, but that’s a poem book, so it will probably be read random page by random page at night when I can’t sleep. I think the next book is this one on the history and invention of the television, which I got at Strand this weekend, along with the Bukowski and an old book on modern warplanes by Bill Gunston, a book from 1980 full of pictures that I remember from the school’s library, so I figured it was worth the five bucks.

I actually wish I knew anything about Bill Gunston. He published hundreds of these books for Jane’s, and a million other aviation-related magazines. Maybe he’s just a figurehead, or a pseudonym for like a dozen other writers, like Louis Lamour, or Don Pendleton, the “author” of a few thousand Mack Bolan books. Anyway, when I was a kid, I used to eat up any of those airplane books, the ones with tons of photos of planes in action. It’s funny to look at these books now, and see how all of the text in the books has to do with the “looming” war with the USSR, and how various US planes were well-poised against Soviet counterparts. It’s also weird, especially in this book I got yesterday, how the MiGs and other Warsaw Pact planes had very sketchy details; the photos were grainy and improvised, the artists’ renditions were just educated guesses. Of course now, if you flew to Moscow with a suitcase of money, they would practically give you a MiG-25, teach you how to fly it, feed you like a king every day, and let you date their sister. It’s amazing how things change.

Oh, my Latitude laptop died. I should be more pissed about this than I am, but it’s almost a non-issue, given how little I use it. I think the hard drive is fried, or it could just be the registry. I guess I could nuke it and start over, but I don’t feel like messing with it right now.

Okay, I’m done for the night. Time to read for a bit.