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Myrtle the turtle

Wednesday 12/5/18

I have run out of steam a little bit today. It is almost noon. After writing the next 1700 words of "Pillow Drift," I sent out some pitches and tried to tend to some business. It looks like The Weekly Standard is going to shutter, which is bad. That was a good marriage there, the arts section and my work. But this is not official yet. Maybe it will not come to pass. I am not finishing "Pillow Drift" now--that is such an outlay of energy, writing at that level, with everything bang on, and while I could finish it now, I will use the energy I have later for that purpose. It was only on Friday that I composed "Qui Qui Ri Qui." That seems so long ago. I picked up work with Rolling Stone. And I wrote the first 900 words of this piece on "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" for The Daily Beast. Now I must walk to Charlestown and climb the Monument. And get a coffee or two. I've had two cups of tea today--English breakfast, and a hibiscus for my blood pressure--and about five candy canes.


Walked three miles, climbed the Monument once. Listened to Elvis' Pot Luck LP. You hear that he was terrible on these soundtrack albums, but this one is strong. It's really strong. Screened the 1968 BBC version of The Blue Carbuncle, with Peter Cushing as Holmes. Listened to Andy Williams' Christmas album. Has a nice energy. Works better than the sum of its parts, strangely. You add it all up and it ought to be one thing, but it's another.

Went to the Aquarium. Renewed membership. This is Myrtle the turtle. She has lived at the Aquarium since 1970 (prior to that she lived at another aquarium), and is estimated to be ninety-years-old. Some perspective: That means she was alive when Louis Armstrong recorded "West End Blues." And when the Yankees of Ruth and Gehrig successfully defended their 1927 World Series title. The House at Pooh Corner was about to be published. Disney's Steamboat Willie was about to come out. Think about that. That's the cartoon that basically launched Mickey Mouse as a pop icon. And this turtle was alive then!

This is a blue lobster. He is very rare. Crustaceal blue carbuncle.

This is Murray the moray eel in the big tank. I will write a children's book about him someday.


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