A Moment of Jen
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Saturday, December 03, 2005
posted by Jen at 12/03/2005 03:55:00 PM

I'm so grateful to everyone who sent good wishes Wendell's way. He's home and happy and seems to have rebounded nicely from his trauma. We're still taking it easy -- five-minute walks and lots of pot roast (the gravy does a great job of disguising the medication).

Lucy is glad to have him back. It's just a little heartbreaking for me when she pats his head and says "Good as new!" I wish it were true.

In non-dog news, Gawker reports that JDate -- online home of the unchosen Chosen people -- is finally permitting classified ads from those seeking same-sex partners. To which I say, what took them so long?

I just finished Ruth Reichl's most recent autobiography, GARLIC AND SAPPHIRES, which I enjoyed almost completely, from her reviews of her own reviews and the personas she adapted, and the wigs she wore to get them, to a discussion of how newspapers see the function of critics (not to get people to eat at a certain restaurant, view a certain movie or buy a certain book, but to get them, first and foremost, to buy the newspaper).

It was unparalleled food porn, the kind of thing that makes you want to make a pot of sherry-laced cream of mushroom soup or meltingly tender short ribs -- or reservations at Daniel or Lespinasse or Babbo.

The only part that left a sour taste in my mouth was when she was recounting her decision to leave the New York Times and mentioned, in passing, a young female colleague who was, in Reichl's estimation, "terrifyingly sweet. She was pale, pretty and petite but seemed so frighteningly ambitious that we all kept our distance."

When the newspaper where I used to work profiled me a few books back, I got tagged with the a-word (without, alas, the pretty and petite part).

If you call a guy "ambitious" -- especially a guy in a newsroom -- it evokes a certain hard-charging, square-jawed, take-no-prisoners, foreign-correspondent-in-a-well-cut-trench coat dash.

Say it about a woman -- especially a young one -- and it's meant as an insult, conjuring up visions of backstabbing and betrayal; a more printable way to call her a bitch.

Seems to me that anyone, male or female, who'd wind up at a big daily newspaper at an early age has to have a certain amount of ambition, a desire to have the world read what you have to say. Or else, you'd just write a weblog.
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