I finished writing the fourth chapter of Hotter Than That: A Life of Louis Armstrong last Friday, then spent the weekend going to plays (Festen and Stuff Happens, to be specific) and resting from my protracted labors. I’ve now completed roughly fifty thousand words of the book, and I’m feeling very good about it. My hope is that I’ll have a rough draft of the book completed by the end of the summer, which will give me six months to polish it before I deliver the manuscript to Harcourt next March.
Otherwise I mostly laid low, though I did travel to Brooklyn on Saturday to dine with a friend who lives in the Ex-Lax Building, erected in 1925 to house the offices and factory of the company that made the once-popular “chocolated laxative.” The building was converted a quarter-century ago, and my friend now lives in a top-floor apartment that looks a bit like this. She put on a Pink Martini album and
served me a Vietnamese beef salad (the recipe for which came out of Esquire, forsooth!) accompanied by an exceedingly nifty side dish made out of corn, red peppers, cilantro, lime, and various other good things, and I ate my meal secure in the knowledge that it was both tasty and impeccably healthful.
I’ll be spending Monday morning closeted with my cardiologist, who plans to fill me full of radioisotopes, put me on a treadmill, and see if I explode. Assuming I don’t, I’ll check in with you tomorrow.