Where Have I Been?

No where particularly interesting, I’m afraid to say, just buried in work. After being sick for the entire month of October, turned out I had quite a lot of catch up to do this month. I had some Inc. related travel to attend to, and then it was my birthday and so I took two days off for that, and then Thanksgiving…anyway, the blog does suffer and I apologize for that!

So here’s a quick update on what’s new, what’s upcoming, and what I’ll be thinking about in the next few weeks. Feel free, anyone, to suggest topics that you’d like to see me tackle (any burning demographic questions out there?), or to share anything interesting that you’re thinking about or reading…

  • In the "you read it here first" department: check out a generally well-done piece in the New York Times today about a baby boomlet in Manhattan. This is part of a larger national trend, as loyal ACM readers already know.
  • Coming soon to a magazine rack near you:  December 2005 Inc., with my story about a possible trend towards individual health insurance policies –will you get your health coverage through your employer in the not-to-distant future?  In Inc.’s January 2006, I wrote a big (read: I’m glad it’s over) story about how business appraisers boil down a company, including the quality of its management and its intellectual property, into a single bottom line number. Looking a bit further ahead, in Continental Magazine in March, a story about real estate trends in Las Vegas. Hint: it’s looking more like Manhattan every day. And in Yoga Journal’s April/May issue, I’ll have a story about finding balanced ambition. Wait, there’s more! Sometime in the next few months, I’ll have a feature in Reason about trends in geographic mobility. Americans are less mobile than we think. When these stories are available online, I’ll post links here.
  • Coming soon inside my head: Here are some things that I’m thinking about now, and that may make their way here over the next month or so:
    • Really great balloon artists. At the Chocolate Show this month, I saw the most amazing balloon sculptures ever…way, way beyond giraffes and boring hats. I want to know who gets really creative with balloon sculptures and how they do their thing.
    • Speaking of questions I can’t answer: does anyone know if there’s one authority that coordinates the colored lighting schemes on skyscrapers in NYC? Tonight, Empire State building is Red and Green (ho hum) and NY Life is…off. Someone forgot to turn it on, I guess.
    • The battle over "real" Belgian chocolate.  A number of chocolatiers are fighting over this title, since the large chocolate makers in Belgium are no longer actually Belgian. I find this very funny. And also very yummy.
    • Confronting the Baby Bust: while the United States is promoting abstinence-only education, other countries with sagging birth rates are trying to encourage their teenagers to have sex. Evidently, in Japan, there is a campaign with billboards that says "Young People, Don’t Hate Sex."
    • Plus: over the next week, I’m going to Kalamazoo (how cool is that? I think I should pack a kazoo.) and to my favorite writing conference, the Nieman Narrative Nonfiction conference in Boston. Can’t promise I won’t have some things to say about that.

4 thoughts on “Where Have I Been?

  1. But encouraging sex doesn’t encourage birthing. I don’t know about Japan, but I don’t think of many of the western European countries as places where people aren’t getting laid.

  2. “…since the large chocolate makers in Belgium are no longer actually Belgian.”

    This has also become (or, well, been for a well) a big issue when people (well, Europeans) discuss whether or not the U.S. is in any way worth considering re: culinary talent. For the most part, great U.S. chefs ain’t from round these parts–they all have funny accents and stuff. But really, I guess this can also be tied into the whole Olympic debate (well, at least it’s a debate in my mind–I’ve gone back and forth on it a million times) over whether athletes competing for one country should be allowed to train in another country. Overall I think people should stop getting their knickers in a twist and, wherever you hang your hat (or claim to) should be the country that owns ya. So if a Chinese-Dutch-Sudanese chocolate maker (or chocolate company owner) settles down in Belgium and makes a good product–so be it–Belgian chocolate it is.

  3. That’s a good point –provincialism can be very tiresome!
    But in regards to the chocolate,I should have said, though, that the chocolate is actually not being made in Belgium anymore, but in Switzerland or Newark or something. The small chocolatiers have been bought out by big multinational conglomerates.

  4. Ah yes, then I would definitely agree with them–chocolate made in Newark definitely shouldn’t be marketed as Belgian chocolate. The winemakers of Champagne-Ardenne should teach a marketing course on how to protect your region from interlopers. I don’t think there’s any other place in the world that’s been quite as successful.

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