Not that interior design

Via kottke.org, India Amos explains what it means to design the interior of a book. Don’t overlook the extensive comment thread.

I find a book handsome not because it necessarily differs from the standard template. You don’t want a book design that says, “Look at me! I’m designed!” You want a book design that says, “Dive into this text.” So it has to be inviting, but also capable of becoming transparent once you’re in it. Like a cool pool on a hot day. You splash in, you scream delightedly, and after a few seconds it feels normal and you can focus on hitting your friends with foam toys or whatever. I like a design to complement and enhance but not upstage or distract from the text.

Marlie

We drove out to the Eastern Shore yesterday to say goodbye to Marlie, who died last week in a traffic accident induced by the heavy rains we’ve been experiencing.

“Boisterous” is perhaps the first word that comes to mind when I think of Marlie. She was always having a hell of a good time, and wanted to make sure everyone else was, too. Her idea of a backyard cookout was to arm all the guests with Super Soakers; we would then all take a turn racing around the lot with her Jack Russell Terrier, Indiana. It was her idea to heave a plucked chicken carcass onstage for our production of a prison drama-fantasy called Crocodile.

I can think of only one time that I got the better of her.

Some years back, Marlie and her husband John came to my house for a birthday party for me. She invited herself upstairs to the TV room/bedroom, and started rummaging around in the (closed but not locked) cabinet under the TV. “What’s this?” she said, as she pulled out a copy of Student Sorority Nurses Do Detroit, Part 2, or some such title. “Hunh” was my clever rejoinder. I bustled her downstairs, probably opened the CD changer and slapped on a copy of the classic “go home now” music Carmina Burana. Anyway.

Then some time after that, Leta and I met during a show that John was directing. Now, I can be a little fastidious and anal retentive at times, I own Dawn Upshaw recordings, my decorating senses are not completely stubbed out, and I hadn’t dated anyone for several years, so it was generally suspected among the theater community that I was gay. When Marlie learned that Leta was interested in me, she said, “It’s okay, I checked, all the porn in his house is straight.”

So Leta told me this, probably in a crowd at Barnaby’s. And losing only half a beat, I said, “All of it that she found.”