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Monday, July 9, 2001

After being strapped to the phone all weekend, I feel more than ever that I deserve a vacation. I also feel that I should make a greater effort to get out of the house when I do have a chance.

If I hadn't been waiting for that call yesterday, I would (I think) have gone to see Songcatcher. Now it'll probably be gone by the time I get back from the lake. It doesn't sound like the kind of movie that stays around for three weeks, even in an "art film" house like the Rialto.

(A.I., on the other hand, will not only still be in theaters when I return, but it will also have smaller crowds and therefore better seating availability.)

Still no response from the dish installer, but I'm not wigging out about it any more. If only I could get to this point of sublime acceptance, without all the angst and trauma I inflict on myself in the process. It helps to have readers who indulge my neuroses with sympathy and good humor. I mean, it really helps.

Okay, it's not that I don't have enough unread books on the shelves already. But there's only a certain kind of book that's right for reading while I'm on vacation. It should be a paperback, for easy transport. As for content, it can be a mystery, and I'm taking a Ruth Rendell and a James Lee Burke. It can be something I've read before, and I'm taking The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

But (and I never know just how much time I'm going to have for reading) I wanted at least one more new book, just in case. So I broke my resolution, just this one time. It's a special dispensation, issued for this one occasion. Extraordinary circumstances, don't you know. I bought a book.

On my quick errand run this morning, I stopped at the bookstore and picked up Where Trouble Sleeps. Wendy got me started on Clyde Edgerton, many months ago, and Sandy recommended this specific book, so I have at least one great new read for the summer.

Now this doesn't mean I'm going on a spending spree. I still haven't bought any CDs or DVDs this year. I'm spending so much money on satellite TV, which gives me all the music and movies I can handle, that it isn't much of a temptation anyway. Books are a little different, and I'm making a list of books that I'll consider next January.

This self-imposed self-restraint has at least allowed me to see how foolish compulsive buying is. I used to hear or read about something I wanted and suddenly I had to have it. Most of the time I discovered that I didn't need it that badly in the first place. Impulse purchases have accounted for most of the dust collectors on my shelves.

So I don't see this one book as breaking the resolution. As long as it doesn't lead to more serious vices, like running out and buying the new Dave Matthews Band CD. If I can't wait, I don't really need it. (Does that even make sense?)

I'm so proud

My back yard. Foreground: weeded. Background: how high it all used to be.
What will it look like when I get back?

I foresee more stream of consciousness entries like this for the rest of the week. I'm not up to any heavy thinking, when I haven't even started packing yet. I'm at the stacking stage: little piles of this and that all over the house. It helps me know what I have, and what I still need. Then I can start weeding out the excess, since I'm taking just one bag with me.

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Latest recommendation:

Crusty Marshmallow, July 8, What a Trip

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