Highlights of the Week Just Ended (August 2009)

You heard that the older brother of a good friend died.  Died here, where he’d been living, for the last several years.  Within miles of your place.  You never knew.  You found out when you asked when the funeral was, and they said:  As soon as his body arrives from San Francisco.

And then you imagined the scenario:  he became the head of some company like ABS-CBN, and he and his wife lived in Hillsborough or Atherton.  They each drove SUVs and had maids for the kids.  They didn’t know that their younger sister’s good friend lived so close, but a world away, in Redwood City.

*          *          *           *

You got this thing in the mail that said you were eligible for a cell phone upgrade, and that very day you turned in your LG chocolate mint, the one you and son had chosen together, two years ago (How you hated using it!  You never could figure out all the bells and whistles).  Yesterday you got a slightly larger phone (which is good, for then you don’t have to squint when you type in a number), in a new color:  purple.

*          *

Last Thursday, you went to the San Carlos Farmers Market.  You bought a goat cheese pizza for $5.  You had it for dinner with a salad of garlic mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, and some pasta.  That was a very good dinner.

*          *

You mailed out a couple of new stories.

*          *

You got a rejection from New England Review, which had your story for almost six months.  The letter, which was signed (or maybe it was just a photocopy of the managing editor’s signature), said:  “Sorry for hanging on to this so long.”  No reason given.  Perhaps it was lost under a pile of other stories?

*           *

Down in San Luis Obispo, son went for an interview and wore the suit we’d bought him for his graduation.

*          *

Yesterday afternoon the Food Network aired a bio-pic of Rachael Ray.

*          *

Katharine McPhee was on a re-run of “CSI: New York.”

*          *

You discovered two delicious Ben & Jerry ice cream flavors:  Toffee and Caramel Fudge Ice Cream, and Creme Brulee Ice Cream (Creme Brulee rocks!)

*          *

You went to Wegman’s and bought a small (blue-flowering) hydrangea.

*          *

Then you realized that your memoir class at NDNU, the one you thought would make because it already had seven students enrolled, in fact would not make because yesterday most of the seven seemed to have been steered to other classes, taught by teachers more senior.  Which means you are free again to write!

*          *

You stayed up until 3 a.m., because you were simply flying through the stripper sections of Maximum City:  Suketu falls in love with Monalisa, he doesn’t tell her he has a wife and two kids living in Bombay.  You wonder if his wife read the book.  If she did, are they still married?

Your next book is going to be a novel, Francisco Goldman’s The Divine Husband.

*          *

You bought you ticket to Manila.  Yup, on Asiana.  Because you waited a week, the fare had gone up by a hundred dollars:  instead of $630, it was now $730.  You were glad you hadn’t waited any longer.  Spa in the Inchon Airport basement, here you come.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

NYTBR 9 August 2009: A Highly Eclectic Short List

The Food Network is showing a bio-pic of Rachael Ray. She is revealed to have a ferocious work ethic, the result of a childhood that was “not rich in material” resources, but was rich in family experiences and love. She went to New York at age 23 — hold on, self! Let’s not get carried away here! This is supposed to be a post about The New York Times Book Review!

All right-ey, self will reserve the Rachael Ray material for a later post. Without further ado, here is the list of books self is interested in reading after perusing The New York Times Book Review of 9 August 2009:

1.    After reading the “Letters to the Editor” :

2.    After reading Gail Collins’ review of Pete Fornatale’s Back to the Garden:  The Story of Woodstock and Michael Lang’s (written with Holly George-Warren) The Road to Woodstock:

3.    After reading Paul Krugman’s review of Justin Fox’s The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street, and Charles R. Morris’ The Sages: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker, and the Maelstrom of Markets:

  • Justin Fox’s The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street
  • Charles R. Morris’ The Sages: Warren Buffett, George Soros, Paul Volcker, and the Maelstrom of Markets

4.   After reading Michael Shae’s review of Thomas Wright’s Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde:

  • Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Thomas Wright’s Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde

5.    After reading William Grimes’ review of Monica Ali’s new novel, In the Kitchen:

  • Monica Ali’s In the Kitchen

6.    After reading Alison McCulloch’s short reviews in the Fiction Chronicle, the following novels:

  • Kyung Ran Jo’s Tongue
  • Roma Tearne’s Bone China
  • Mariolina Venezia’s Been Here a Thousand Years

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