Monday Mash-up, 2/18/08

1) Spindle had a great week last week with a strong February update that generated our highest single-day traffic spike yet, and the announcement of our first contest, “Play Ball” — which offers a $50 honorarium for the best baseball / stickball / cricket-related poetry, fiction and non-fiction from a New York City perspective — has been well-received. The winner will be published in April as part of the “Play Ball” issue which I’m really looking forward to. Sports + writing = more fun than work.

2) Speaking of work, issue closings at the day job usually make for a rough week or two but the May/June issue closed last Tuesday without too much ado, partly because I’ve already locked up about 85% of our advertisers for the year. That last 15% is the difference between a solid issue and a great issue, though, so it wasn’t exactly a cake walk, especially since this issue was over-budgeted based on inflated numbers from last year, partly due to the change from a monthly schedule to bi-monthly the summer before. Overall, though, it’s shaping up to be a really good year and career-wise, the decisions I made over the past 18 months have really paid off.

3) It’s Mid-Winter Recess here in New York City and Salomé and the kids have the week off and headed down to my mother’s place in Virginia earlier this morning. I’ll be following on Thursday, flying down in the morning for a long weekend before we drive back up on Sunday. I sent Isaac’s baseball bag down as I’m hoping we have time to get some practice in since he hasn’t played since last season ended and with both of us moving up to the Bantam level this year, it means hitting a pitched ball instead of one sitting on a tee. He needs to work on his fielding, too, and I’m thinking second base is his most likely position with right field as his back-up spot.

4) Our lease is up at the end of June, and after five years of living in this apartment — the longest, by far, that we’ve lived anywhere together, and the longest I’ve lived in one place since the 4.5 years I lived in Mt. Vernon way back in high school — we’re trying to figure out our next step, juggling decisions about careers, schools, neighborhoods and future plans. The primary options are staying in this neighborhood but moving to a new apartment; renting in Riverdale or Throgs Neck; or buying something in Bloomfield. Each has its pros and cons and each calls for a compromise of one sort or another and we’ve already changed our minds a couple of times over the past few weeks alone!

5) On the presidential primary front, the Democratic side is getting simultaneously interesting and a little bit sad as the presumptuousness, hubris and miscalculation of the “Ready on Day One!” campaign has come back to haunt the Clintons over the past couple of weeks. Super Tuesday did not deliver the knock-out blow they were expecting as recently as December 30th (see the interview below), and now it turns out that not only did they have no plan for the campaign extending past Feb. 5th, they weren’t even aware of how the complicated process in Texas works — hint: not in their favor — one of the two states they’ve pinned their hopes on, Giuliani-style.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HexrafhffJc]

“I’m in it for the long run. It’s not a very long run. It’ll be over by Feb. 5.”

The Clintons are the Michael Myers of politics — you think they’re dead, and then look off the balcony and the body is gone — so I won’t be convinced Obama has nailed down the nomination until they finally concede, something they’d reasonably have to do if they don’t win Texas AND Ohio, but I don’t believe they know the meaning of the word.

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