Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Broken Record

(Ridley, here)

It's said that you should never start out a piece of writing with an apology, but I must. For the second week in a row, I've Got Nothing.

Maybe it's the time of year that is keeping me from seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Maybe it's my workload, or family life. Shanghai is amazing -- this much I can tell you. Maybe it's our decision to leave here that's weighing on me. Mostly, I think the nature of a blog is a first-person narrative of the events around you -- and I don't want to write about me.

Did you read about the woman attacked by a pig in her backyard? That's worth a laugh, or pity, or something.

Did you read that NBC is going to air the outstanding BBC dramatic series, Merlin, this summer? A risky and wild choice for them, but I must applaud it.

Or that Showtime canceled the Tim Robins written/produced series involving the world of pharmaceuticals? Of particular interest to me since I had been hired to write a series--that I PITCHED--involving pharmaceuticals for a network called... yup... Showtime. The pilot was never shot, but I was a little miffed when the same idea resurfaced a year later with a new, more famous (and probably better!) writer. But justice is served! Or canceled, at least.

Did I mention that I'm hooked on American Idol, which we receive via a delayed feed even here in China. (so don't tell me what's going on, because it really is delayed!) I keep hoping the L'il Rounds will reach deep and figure this out -- she was my early favorite and now Adam looks like shoe-in. Can't help but root for Danny, though. HE CAN SING!

Did I mention I'm reading The Given Day by Dennis Lehane. Might be the best book I've read in five years, damn him. I'm reading it as slowly as possible so that it never ends. But seriously, it never does end. How does he do that?

Or that we went to dinner last night, a ways out of downtown Shanghai, at our friend Shelly's house, and in the middle of dinner she informs us that a friend of hers had been invited to dinner but couldn't make it. And that friend, as it turns out, was the writer, Emily Prager, whose wonderful piece in the New York Times convinced us to rent a lane house instead of any other kind of housing offered in Shanghai, a writer I've been trying to track down for eight months, a writer... are you ready for this? ... who, in a city of 16 million... turns out to live in the next lane over from us. Not so hard to find her after all.

It really is a small world.


  1. Even your "got nothing" blogs are fun. If next week you are in the same boat, how about a little local color of your neighborhood. Pix would be great! Few of us will be able to experience what you are and can live vicariously through you. (as we do in novels)
    Lehane ROCKS.

  2. I also am reading Lehane's new book. The writing is stellar even though the subject matter of the first two scenes did not entrall.

    Yes, photos would be good.

  3. You have me running to the store for The Given Day. I also want to read the updated version of Gay Talese's Thy Neighbor's wife. Since the sexual revolution passed me by, I'd like to see where the post-revolution is. And I'm wondering if you will write a non-fiction account of your time in Shanghai...or set a novel there. Either way, I'll be the first in line.

    "Shanghai Express" was a film with Marlene Dietrich...a useless bit of trivia.

    You may have seen that J.G. Ballard died. Author of "Empire of the Sun" about his internment as a child in Shanghai by the Japanese. Made into the little-appreciated but terrific Spielberg film with a very young (13?) Christian Bale.

    We trust that you will not be interned.

  4. love your nothings.

    yes, pictures would be great.
    there was a documentary about shanghai on tv last sunday before the formular 1 - race. it must be quite a place and i would have prefered to watch more of that rather than that silly race in the rain.


  5. To nick a line from Shakespeare and change it a bit: Oh, that your nothings would teach my somethings such skill ...

    I would love to be living in a lane in Shanghai. Sounds like you've got your own little literary salon going on over there. Do write more of your "Shanghai Nothings" - they sure are something.

  6. Well Ridley, it's spring. And I don't know about Shanghai, but here in Denver it's gorgeous out. Sunshine, clear air making the Rockies very visible in the distance.

    I'm supposed to study?

  7. So did you ever meet up with Emily Prager?

  8. I'm told I may meet her yet! My wife found a connection we are attempting to exploit, possibly as early as this weekend!