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In a Perfect World…

...I wouldn't have anything to do today but read and listen to music. It's a drizzly day here in Boston; the sky is gun-metal gray and the light is flat. It's not an awful day, but it's dark and dreary. Which makes it, in my opinion, a perfect day to screw off — to sit in the most comfortable chair in the apartment and pile up the books and the CDs (and food products — I'm thinking Newman's Own Champion Chip chocolate chip cookies, personally, because I finished all the pecan tarts my mom gave me to bring home after Thanksgiving) and dig in. Here's what I'm reading right now:

  • Little Children by Tom Perrotta — funny, sharp, and (for the attention-impaired) easy to read in small pieces.
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett — beautiful. Hypnotic. Requires attention but worth it.
  • What to Expect in the First Year — everybody warned me off these What To Expect books, but I kind of enjoy them. And they are actually useful, although on occasion the tone ("your baby should certainly be done using a bottle by the time he is one!") is terrifying to us slacker moms.
  • Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt — just bought it, so I can't report anything yet, but I'm excited. I just saw Kevin Spacey in Richard II and it reminded me (as any Shakespeare performance does) how unimaginably wonderful Shakespeare is.
  • Getting Things Done by David Allen — dorky, I know, but I read a fantastic piece by James Atlas (I think it was James Atlas???yikes) about Allen, the "personal productivity guru," as he calls himself, and I was completely intrigued. I spend many, many, many hours every day trying to figure out how to get myself organized and get more done, and even though I don't really believe a book can help do that, I was pretty persuaded by the profile of Allen.

So now I just have to find time to read the book.... And in the background, I'd want to have playing:

  • A Ghost is Born — Wilco
  • Year of Meteors — Laura Veirs
  • Franco and TPOK Jazz — any of their zillions of albums
  • The Hour of Bewilderbeast — Badly Drawn Boy
  • Rabbit Songs — Hem
  • Bareback — Hank Dogs

Okay, so there's my perfect day. Of course, this is the real world, slightly less than perfect, and I actually have to get back to work....

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Little Children
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  2. Bel Canto
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  3. What To Expect the First Year 2ND... Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. Will in the World: How Shakespeare...
    Used Trade Paper $6.95
  5. Getting Things Done: The Art of...
    Used Trade Paper $3.95
  6. My Kind of Place: Travel Stories... Used Trade Paper $9.95

Susan Orlean is the author of My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere

3 Responses to "In a Perfect World…"

    David Speer November 30th, 2005 at 12:15 pm

    If I remember correctly (a big if), in the introduction to My Kind of Place you talk about a diner/breakfast place called the Busy Bee. If the Busy Bee you were thinking about happened to be the Busy Bee in Dubuque, Iowa, (coffee-sloshing waitresses with attitude, lots of locals, diner-type stools and a gleaming chrome counter, etc.), we just found out Sunday when we showed up for breakfast that it has closed.

    If it wasn't, never mind.


    George November 30th, 2005 at 12:40 pm

    How, in your busy life, did you ever manage to discover and glom onto so much new music? I can scarcely tell what's a group's name and what's their album in your list, though it is fun to read.

    Cookie December 5th, 2005 at 1:23 pm

    I know what you mean about the baby advice I am glad that now both of mine are off the bottle, potty trained and in grade school! Both of my kids were using their bottles after the so called cut off time I don't know if I should admit that or not but now neither of them are using the bottle anymore so I wouldn't too much about those kind of deadlines I always reassured myself by reminding myself that all babies develop at their own speed and in their own way, as long as they are doing the big things like sitting up and walking and rolling over and things like that it should be ok! I am enjoying reading your blog entries! :.)

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