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World Wide Wednesday

Deep Routes

On The Awl, Joe Berkowitz writes and Joanna Neborsky illustrates on being newly single:

The first few days of being alone again hit like OxyContin withdrawal. Or, at the very least, like a juice cleanse. Only instead of toxins leaving my body, about a shallow lagoon of Merlot floods into it. All the many things I took for granted about the relationship appreciate in value as they suddenly become unavailable. So many inside jokes and dumb little rituals lined up in my mind like a continental breakfast buffet, wheeled away by an overly officious concierge just as I arrive, famished.

This absence manifests itself everywhere. I’m keenly aware of a certain G-chat window’s negative space on my computer screen all day. Unfortunate coworker fashion choices go criminally underreported. The pertinent details of which falafel place I did for lunch are lost to the ages. My day’s narrative simply loses its primary audience, as though cancelled due to low ratings and frequent profanity. I could continue the broadcast on Facebook, dispatching glossy post-breakup PR or the romantic distress bat-signal of Sade lyrics, but being heard is not the same as feeling known. Nothing can substitute for the presence of an actual human person who knows most of your secrets and still somehow wants to make out with you.

For ESPN the Magazine, Don Van Natta Jr. tries to find details on President Obama’s golf game:

Few details are given to the White House press corps about Obama’s golf game. When asked for the POTUS’ handicap, press secretary Jay Carney likes to joke, “That’s classified.” The president usually decides to hit the links a day or two in advance, weather permitting. Reporters hear about it only as the presidential motorcade, with Obama’s Nike VR S clubs tossed in the trunk, leaves for the first tee. His pals won’t even reveal his favored ball, though a source says Obama eschews specially made presidential golf balls for Titleist Pro V1s.

Just as Obama the president relies on a coterie of White House advisers, Obama the golfer plays with the same handful of people — a tight circle of junior White House aides and advisers, most often body man Marvin Nicholson (a former caddie at Augusta National) and confidential assistant Eugene Kang. When on vacation in Hawaii, the president plays with buddies from Chicago and a few old Hawaii pals. None of those people would comment for this story. The first rule of golf club: Don’t talk about golf club. Understandably, White House and senior campaign officials declined to discuss Obama’s golf in the homestretch of a re-election year. He has rejected requests by senior party officials to golf with wealthy contributors to raise money for the Democratic National Committee, as Bill Clinton had done. Dozens of writers (including this one) have asked to tag along for a round with Obama; the answer is always no. Only once since becoming president has Obama played with a journalist — Thomas Friedman, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. Their round, predictably, was off the record.

Jeff Pearlman writes on how to get a book deal:

1. Think large. When it comes to magazine and newspaper pieces, I try and think small. Derek Jeter’s scar, a third-sring catcher, a Division III cheerleading squad. But publishing companies need to believe a book can sell. So if you go to, say, HarperCollins with the riveting tale of two high school fencers … you’re likely doomed. Now, if you’re Chris Ballard or Wertheim or Mike Lupica, you’ve got a good shot, because track record speaks volumes. But if you’re unknown and untested, no …

2. So, instead, think big. Before pitching ideas, I always head to my local Barnes & Noble and scan the shelves. Literally, that’s how I thought of the ’90s Cowboys. There were all these books on all these huge teams, but none of note on the Aikman-Irvin-Emmitt ‘Boys. It’s a huge franchise with 8 million fans and tons of glory. That’s the only time I *knew* I’d get a deal as soon as I had the idea. It sold itself. So try and find ideas that sell themselves. Big teams, big stories, big athletes—especially if there’s mystery/intrigue remaining.

Quick Reads

- EXTREMELY detailed map of Chicago’s 19th Century red light district [braiker.tumblr]

- Dogs on computers [fuckyeahdogsoncomputers]

- FCC chairman asks FAA to stop making us turn off electronic devices for takeoff and landing [The Hill]

- Free wi-fi will start becoming more common in US airports [Economist]

- Half of all US app. revenue goes to just 25 producers [Mashable]

- If Arrested Development was a series of 8-bit Nintendo games [Buzzfeed]

- Beer and bacon battered deep fried Doritos [Food Beast]

- The typical high school drop-out ends up costing taxpayers $292,000 [PBS]

- Vince Vaughn and Glenn Beck are making a reality show together [Gawker]

Food Porn

Pepperoni and fresh basil at Armitage Pizzeria. This is the best pizza in Chicago.

My friend/reader Andy sends in caramel-covered bacon. WANT.


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