In Which Self Tries to Postpone Spending More Money by Distracting Herself with December 2008 VANITY FAIR

This morning, self went shopping.  Yes, indeed, she actually left son at home (who was probably thanking his lucky stars at self’s exit) and went to Roger Reynold’s (Menlo Park) to buy a plant and to Sequoia Station (Jefferson and El Camino, RWC), to the Barnes & Noble and See’s there.  Along the way, she filled up with gas: the “Gas Tank Empty” light had been blinking for a while, but self was sure she had an “emergency reserve” (though she couldn’t remember exactly what size this reserve was —  perhaps 20 miles???). Great indeed was her consternation when she ended up having to put in 15 gallons of gas, approximately the entire capacity of her tank.  Eeek!

At Roger Reynolds, self bought uncle in Daly City a globe with a reindeer inside, and a fake Christmas tree, and a golden wire basket that she filled with Christmas ornaments and she knew she would have spent a lot less if she’d just ordered him a gift basket from Harry & David, but anyhoo.

At Barnes & Noble she searched for a Naomi Shihab Nye collection for her friend Carla P, and a thriller called Red to Black by Alex Dryden for one of her Dear Bros, and for a novel by Anthony Trollope called The Eustace Diamonds (for herself).  Came up empty.  The Trollope wasn’t available “anywhere,” according to B & N salesperson.

Then, walked to See’s, bought gift certificate for son.  Other possible stocking fillers for son:  salami (ha ha ha!), a gasoline card.

Then, feeling in need of some major re-fueling, self headed home, settled herself on the couch and began watching “Jericho” re-runs.  In the meantime, she also began leafing through the December Vanity Fair, the one with Tina Fey on the cover.  And here she is now at the section called “Night-Table Reading,” in which VF asks a passel of celebrities what they are currently reading.  In line with the current economic situation, preponderance of celebrities consulted by VF are people like Donny Deutsch (co-author of The Big Idea:  How to Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True, from the Aha Moment to Your First Million).  Here are the people whose choices self found particularly interesting:

  • Ray Bradbury, whose most recent book is We’ll Always Have Paris, is reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night:  “Tender is the Night is the most outstanding novel I’ve ever read.  Fitzgerald had a way of writing prose poetry amidst his stories.”  (Sold, Ray, sold!)
  • Steven Gaines, author of Fool’s Paradise:  Players, Poseurs, and the Culture of Excess in South Beach, is reading Daniel Mendelsohn’s How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken:  Essays:  “I keep dipping into this wonderful collection of essays about books and movies and plays, most of them written for the New York Review of Books.  Mendelsohn, who won a National Book Critics Circle Award for book reviewing, is a gifted and entertaining writer.”  (Sold, Steven, sold!)
  • Ryan D’Agostino, author of Rich Like Them:  My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America’s Richest Neighborhoods is reading Joe Nocera’s Good Guys & Bad Guys:  “There’s wisdom in his stories, something the business world could use right now.”  (Sold, Ryan, sold!)

Stay tuned.

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