Z-z-z. (Via GeekPress.)
Ed Park's "Two Laptops: A Short Story"!
Phil Dyess-Nugent on Gore Vidal. (Also recommended: Inigo Thomas's 2007 LRB piece on the last installment of Vidal's memoirs; Marcie Frank's How to Be an Intellectual in an Age of TV.)
Elaine Scarry on literature and empathy.
I'm currently slightly under the weather with dental woes. It is not a particularly interesting backstory; my teeth are otherwise pretty good, but I had a root canal about 10 years ago, and at my annual check-up in May, the dentist asked on the basis of the x-ray whether I'd been having any trouble with it. The answer then was no, but a week ago I had some swelling and redness/soreness; yesterday I had an appointment with the endodontist that I imagined would be purely brief and diagnostic (I thought I would book whatever treatment was likely to be necessary for perhaps mid-September), but instead I found myself in the chair for an arduous and really fairly unpleasant 90 minutes of excavation! Walked out slightly reeling, with face still half-numb from the anesthesia. Am taking a couple days off from exercise, and will continue to be careful over the weekend not to put undue stress on the immune system; apparently they don't give antibiotics for this as a default, only if it gets infected. I have a follow-up next week for the rest of the work to be done, assuming it's healing properly, and am strongly hoping that it won't be as major as yesterday's appointment! The co-pay was $400, but it would have been over $2,000 if my insurance didn't cover it, so I can consider myself fortunate that the Columbia dental plan has improved considerably in recent years....