Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hug a newspaper today

Like a lot of families, Rigel and I have had to find ways to cut our expenses during the past year. There were some necessities I absolutely wasn't willing to let go of, like my uncontrollable Starbucks habit or HBO -- I didn't see the point of going on if I couldn't have my double-cappuccinos and True Blood. But there were a few things I thought could be wiped from our budget, and after a lot of thought we decided we really could live without the daily delivery of Kobe beef and our live-in masseuse. We were sad to see Olaf go but he did get a nice severance package and a Tupperware full of ribeyes before he left.

One of the other luxuries we decided to cut back on was our subscription to The Los Angeles Times. Since we get most of our news online now, sometimes at the end of the week we'd just end up with a stack of unopened papers. But we weren't willing to give it up altogether, so we decided to still have the paper delivered on Thursday through Sunday. Also, I liked the illusion of being well-read that the paper sitting in our driveway gives us. Shallow, I know, but if the only time your neighbors saw you was when you were taking your kids school in your pajamas, a little culture PR could go a long way.

Besides helping to impress our neighbors, the Times is also where I can find one of my favorite columnists, Chris Erskine. His 'Man Of The House' feature is really one of the only reasons I get out of bed on Saturday, and without it Rigel would have to go back to leaving a trail of bacon pieces leading out of the bedroom.

And sure I could always read it online, but then I'd miss the pleasure of sitting down with a cup of coffee and paper in hand to read things like this:

I have never seen so many sober moms in one place as at the end-of-the-year school carnival the other day — a frightening and unexpected sight. Usually, to assemble a gaggle of women of this caliber, you need to be serving adult drinks. Some of these women haven't had a beverage in years that didn't have a salted rim. Others wear wine on their lips like Chanel. When you kiss them hello, it's like kissing Tuscany full on the mouth. Bottoms up. Yum.

Listen, I'm not being judgmental, for the warmer months are upon us, and doctors say it's important to keep your fluids up. 
That even made my Tuesday much better.

But there are other reasons for hanging on to our subscription, like being able to see my niece's byline in this magazine every week. Also, with many saying that newspapers wll be all but gone in the near future, I like to think I'm doing my small part to keep them alive -- I hate the thought of my future grandchildren not being able to wake up to a newspaper waiting for them on the front step.  And that right there is almost worth giving up my daily steak and backrub.
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  1. I love having a newspaper to read, too. It's the same with books. There's nothing like having a hot cup of coffee (Starbucks or otherwise) or tea, something to munch on (did someone say cookies or dark chocolate M&M's?), and a newspaper or a good book to read. That's pretty close to a perfect moment. Moment because at that point the telephone will ring, you need to pick up the kids, or dinner is burning. Of course don't tell a librarian that you are eating and/or drinking while reading a book...

  2. One of the things I miss most living overseas is a subscription to my local paper. Sure I get my news (and more) online, but I miss the visceral experience.


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