July 28, 2005

Amazon Ain't Just a River in South America


Knowing that Amazon often lists books long before they are released, I went one better than Googling myself: I looked for my name on Amazon. While I am not the author of Tactical Reconnaissance in the Cold War or even The losers guide to (you call this a) life [sic], I did find the page you see above.

You can see it for yourself by clicking here.

You won't see a cover image because the design has not yet been finalized. Neither has the subtitle, which for now is a good thing. More thoughts on this to come. Today all I can say is, "cool."

Posted by Doug at 07:55 AM | Comments (6)

July 27, 2005

Best of the Web

Gothamist, for which I occasionally write, was featured in last week's Forbes magazine as one of their Best of the Web picks. Congrats, Gothamist!

Posted by Doug at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

Back Soon

Sorry for the long delay. Still taking a break, but will be back soon.

Posted by Doug at 03:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2005

Blog Days of Summer

Sorry for the very light posting. Here in New York City, we're well beyond the dog days of summer. The temperature and humidity are taking us into conditions that can best be desribed as the wolf days of summer.

Now that the final manuscript is in to Harper Collins, I have more time to blog, but less on which to report. That's the way it always is, I guess; I once read - on another blog, of course - that you have to keep posting to keep people interested in your blog, but you're only supposed to post if you have something interesting to say.

I was courted by a cable TV network for an appearance on a fairly big show, but that fell through. I'm not disappointed as there are still about five or six months until my book's publication, which is plenty of time for other appearances. Considering that I have not yet met with HC's publicity and marketing department and have hardly spoken to my editor about PR, I'm feeling good about my chances of getting at least a little positive press when the book is released. Still, I'm starting to scan my mental Rolodex for contacts who might be able to help book me on shows as a "grooms expert." I did notice that the Today show has begun the search for couples for their annual on-air wedding, an L has high hopes that they'll soon turn to me for a different look at the planning process. Katie and Matt have been doing the contest for at least a few years now, so perhaps it's time to mix things up a bit by giving the guy a little more airtime.

So, what am I doing now that the book is in hurry-up-and-wait mode? I'm doing a little more work for The History Channel and their show Modern Marvels. You can watch an episode of mine at 9 PM Eastern tomorrow. Additional episodes on which I served as the Supervising Producer will air in August and September.

Posting will continue to be light for the next two weeks or so. I'll have some updates on the book's process - design, layout, etc. - soon. Thanks for reading.

Posted by Doug at 04:17 PM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2005

Because There Often Is a Lot of Overlap Between the Two Groups

Via Craigslist:

Seeking Italian Wedding Guests and Gay Leather Bar Patrons.

Posted by Doug at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)


After a brief absence, I am back dishing out advice at Gothamist. Today I take on the annoying practice of bodega and drug store employees who insist on putting every last purchase, no matter how pocket-sized, into a plastic bag.

Posted by Doug at 12:15 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2005

Customer Disservice

Whenever I'm buying something at a store and a checkout clerk asks for my zip code, I generally oblige. My zip code is not so personal that I have to guard it like my social security number. The 11215 zip code probably covers thousands of people, enough that I don't have to worry about Banana Republic ninjas tracking me down and attacking me with khakis.

But I draw the line at my e-mail address, phone number and other more specific information. Like most people, I get enough junk e-mail and regular mail and certainly don't need more from the likes of Virgin Records or the companies to which they sell their address lists. When stores ask for this information, or when I have to fill out a form that requires my e-mail address, I typically give a fake one.

Recently, I was at the Container Store and as the sales clerk rang up my purchase he asked for my phone number for the store's computer records. A transcript, recorded in my head, follows.

CLERK: Can I have a home phone number please?

ME: What do you need it for?

CLERK: We call our customers on occasion to let them know about sales and special offers.

ME: That's okay, but I don't need any of that information.

CLERK: Oh, don't worry, we won't call you. So, may we have your phone number please?

ME: But you just said you call customers to let them know about sales.

CLERK: Can you imagine if we called every customer in New York City? That would be millions of phone calls. We won't call you.

ME: If you aren't going to call me, then you don't need my phone number.

CLERK: Okay, but then we can't let you know about special savings.

And then the universe imploded.

Posted by Doug at 01:37 PM | Comments (6)

July 07, 2005

Really Done

Emailed in my final draft tonight. Now it's on to some of the more technical stuff: layout, illustrations, etc.

Posting will still be light this week. Check this space early next week for updates.


Posted by Doug at 06:51 PM | Comments (1)