?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Putting the "blah blah blah" in blog
 
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends View]

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Time Event
6:17p
Barry Tunick
I first met Barry Tunick (Panache in the NPL) at the LA crossword tournament Merl ran in (I think) 1985. I've been to his home in Culver City, and met members of his family. And I've seen him at NPL conventions over the years. Most recently, he gave an after-dinner talk at the LA con in 2005.

But my closest association is as one of his test-solver/proofreaders for the LA Sunday Times puzzle. I've done this for close to 20 years. In the old days, we snail-mailed the puzzles back and forth, and more recently I've sent corrections by e-mail. He's been unfailingly good-humored, cordial and supportive, gently nudging me if I was late. I can't think of a single negative aspect of our time working together.

On Thursday, I received an e-mail headed "New Proofing Address" saying:
Hi En,

Please send next proofs to Amber.

Starting next Monday, I'm outta here. (Leukemia)

Thanks,

=Pan
* * * * *
This was alarming, but I didn't realize what he meant. I replied, "Sorry to hear that!" thinking he was perhaps going into the hospital Monday or taking a sabbatical from puzzle production - not literally "outta here."

Alas, today the sad news came that he died at home last night, surrounded by family, grateful for all the good in his life.

The puzzle world is full of "good guys" but Barry was one of the best. He will be missed.
8:09p
Children's Read and other updates
Today's plan was to go to the Children's Read event at Columbia. I especially wanted to hear They Might Be Giants perform, but also wanted to see Julie Andrews, Cheech Marin, Pat Kiernan, and anything else I could catch. On second thought, I didn't really need to see Pat Kiernan since I met him while working on the game show.

I woke up too late for Pat and Cheech's readings, and almost talked myself out of going entirely, but the weather was nice and it's good to get out. So I took the bus up Amsterdam (running too late to walk) and followed the sound of music to the stage on South Field, where the TMBG concert had already started. It was sunny, but I protected myself with long sleeves and a visor. I'm not that familiar with the group, but they seemed very cool and were easy on the ears. The crowd was full of families and I sat on the grass and enjoyed the set. If they sang the song that was in "Wordplay," it was before I got there.

Julie Andrews would be half an hour later, so I got up to go walk around. I suddenly noticed that directly in front of me was Pat Kiernan (spiffy in a brown jacket), Mrs. Pat, and the adorable little Patlets. I recognized them from this article. Pat looked directly at me without recognition, so he must not have remembered meeting me that night in the office in June, when he was going over material with N. I was too shy to approach, though a few people were coming up to him.

TMBG were signing things in a tent, and I considered waiting on the line to ask them if they saw "Wordplay," but felt shy and didn't. I wandered around, picking up a disposable camera at the Target booth, and checking out a bookstore tent. I didn't see any copies of Winston Breem, but it was crowded and I didn't see everything on sale.

Back at the stage, people were gathering for Julie Andrews. She looked terrific, and was promoting her book series with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. They tried to stay on the topic of the books, but the audience's questions were mostly of the order of "Can you sing 'Doe, a Deer'?" "Were you scared of heights in 'Mary Poppins'?" and "Weren't you in 'The Princess Diaries'?" "Wow, that's really Julie Andrews," I thought, as the man next to me told me he loved "Wordplay" and a young girl asked to take a picture with me. Intelligent crowd. :0

(Edited to add: Oops, this was not such a good thing for the students since midterms start tomorrow and the noise on South Field affected the onlooking dorms and library. And someone has posted pix.)

That was enough book fair for me, and I walked home, stopping at Absolute Bagels, Garden of Eden, and Gristedes. Fresh Direct is due to arrive any minute, so the refrigerator will be full.

En's reads:
"Plan B" by Jonathan Tropper - a group of NYU buddies freaking out as they approach 30 (oh gee, poor babies) kidnap their movie star friend Jack to get him off drugs. OK.

"An Unmarried Man" by Darryl Ponicsan - I read the author's "Goldengrove" a long time ago and remember liking it, but this one... not so much. It reminded me of Herbert Gold's "True Love" - divorced guy in CA facing midlife crisis. I couldn't stand the Gold book and this one wasn't much better.

I got an offer for an American Express platinum card - for an annual fee of $450! What credit card could possibly be worth that kind of outlay?

Next up: grading at-homes, which have somehow accumulated even though I just sent out a batch.

<< Previous Day 2007/10/14
[Calendar]
Next Day >>
"Wordplay" segment   About LiveJournal.com