Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Book 'em, Danno.

It was one of those unfortunate but inevitable glitches in the life of a modern family: tonight, we were double-booked.

On my calendar? An evening meeting with my book club. On Trey's, an all-day meeting with some muckety-muck corporate-type people in Manhattan.

I know: tough call, right? Nearly as tricky as the judgment of Solomon.

In the end, we arm-wrestled for the kitchen pass; Trey won, of course, but I suspect that he cheated somehow.

Anyhoo. I gnashed my teeth for a bit, then remembered the lovely and talented Courtney, who carefully tends a super-secret list of the very best nannies in the metroplex.

One quick call to Courtney, and presto: a younger, blonder, cuter Mary Poppins landed on my doorstep, ready and willing to watch the muppers while I ventured out to discuss a book I'd only partially read, eat, rehash for the kabillionth time the challenges of finding the perfect preschool, eat some more, dish some gossip of both the local and celebrity variety and, yes, eat even more.

After all of that strenuous activity, I returned home to Ms. Poppins' cheerful recap of the evening's activities, a sparkling-clean kitchen and three gorgeous, dozing, happy children. Oh, LIFE.

The only thing left to do, then, was to aimlessly surf the web in my ongoing quest to read every last page. I was making decent progress until I stopped short at this article on msnbc.com.

Read at will, but the gist is thus: the government filed a subpoena demanding that personal information about thousands of amazon.com book buyers be released. You can probably guess what happened next: first-amendment privileges were invoked and successfully used to stand ground against the subpoena, which was, in fact, dropped today.

And so a small victory for the right to privacy is won. But it's not hard to see the writing on the wall, which is why I'd like to preemptively explain some of my more curious recent purchases.

To begin with: I only ordered the Bobby McFerrin CD last week for my grandmother, who wanted to know all of the words to Don't Worry Be Happy. I did not, I repeat: I did not order this item for myself.

And if by some chance that's because I already own said CD, there's only a small likelihood that I actually play its peppy tunes on the rare occasion that I'm feeling blue. Whilst, yes, dancing about the house.

Next item in my order history: a DVD of The Notebook. Again, and I'm not trying to frame a sweet and innocent nonagenarian, but this was also a gift for my grandmother, and is in no way a reflection of my own personal opinions about the delicious hunk of manliness that is James Garner.


Moving quickly if awkwardly along to books: I did buy P.S., I Love You, and in hardback, to boot. And no, it wasn't for my grandmother this time; it was for myself. However, the purchase was made under duress, as it was a book club selection, and I loathed every word of it. Gave it a large thumbs down. Didn't even cry at the weepy parts; nope, not me.

Hmmm: another selection for the book club. Recall, please, that part of the book-club experience is permitting someone to choose a book that, left to your own free will, you might never have given a second glance.

But in my defense, it wasn't until after I'd recommended it to the group that I realized that the book's title, The Best Awful, was in no way a misleading review of the book's content.

Why, no; my book purchases aren't strictly limited to fiction. As you look over my order history, you'll note that a disproportionate number of titles are instructional guides on how to parent: with love and logic, with a nifty zen approach or per the recollections of a beloved childhood hero.

And you want a handle on Montessori? Oh, I've got you covered. Anything you want to know, please, just ask. Just don't ask me, because I've yet to crack a single one of the books open. They're almost entirely decorative.

So there you have it. It's not criminal, my order history; just criminally embarrassing. But if it's all the same to you, unspecified governmental entity, I'd still like to keep it private. Thanks ever so.


Blogger Big Mama said...

James Garner really is a delicious hunk of manliness.

6:25 AM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

Big Mama beat me to it.

James Garner? Oh. Man. I could write an entire post about him. He is a perfect specimen of, um, perfection.

Love this post, Miss. And damn this administration.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

if we're dishing, i will dish mine. my last purchase on amazon was the jungle book dvd, bought after reading one of your posts where jungle book was mentioned and falling back into my wonderful childhood memories of watching the movie.

second most recent? a series of world books for little man's classroom.

in keeping with the montessori view that children ought to give to others on their birthday (a view i am hard pressed to agree with) we asked his teachers what they would like to have as their classroom gift this year and the answer was a resounding, "books on antartica!"

i hit amazon and in a second find about seven different options. i know they have one book, but which one? at this point, it's late at night and the celebration is tomorrow, which i know i won't have the book for, but i will at least have bought it by then and isaac can tell them about it and we'll bring it when it arrives.

of the seven options, i pick one that's part of a series and opt for several more of that series too -how impressive. except it's not.

they already have the entire series which makes it blatantly obvious that i bought the books myself, involving my child in the selection process in no way shape or form. if i had, he would have seen the books and informed me that the class already has them...all 5 of them.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

James Garner! Ohhhhhhhhhh! Don't get me started...

8:50 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

James Garner? You have got to be kidding. And I hope I don't start a riot here, but he's older than life itself!!!!!!! Give me a little Brad Pitt, or Lenny Kravitz, or the soap opera star from Dancing with the Stars, and I'm all over that like white on rice.

I myself have become a fan of buying books at Half Price books. The last books I ordered from amazon.com were in 2006 and they were financial books for my hubby and children's books for the kids. You think those purchases would get the gov't excited over me? I think not.....

10:03 AM  
Anonymous trabilcobb said...

Can't get excited about James Garner either, but I'm totally behind amazon.

Last purchase: a huge box of Pampers, size 6. With no Target within 50 miles, I will do whatever it takes to avoid Wal Mart.

Dang it, that won't get the Bushies riled up. Now I am going to have to buy something devious and evil just so I can get on their list.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hate to say it, but I'm pretty sure Nanny has The Notebook. Hate to burst your bubble.

xoxox, mar

p.s. it's good you're shopping ahead though

1:30 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

This was a great post--- and made me go look at my recent amazon purchases.

Lots of Winnie the Pooh and Heffalumps.
Raising your sprited child.
Heat- by Bill Buford
Kitchen Confidential- for my hubby

What does this say about me? I've got crazy kids, and I like to read about food. Take that invasive government!

6:24 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Oh yes. James Garner? Love him in that movie with Doris Day. He's a senior citizen side of roast beef, that's for sure.

6:25 PM  
Blogger BB said...

Apparently I am missing out. I don't think I have ever bought anything from Amazon or Ebay. I just keep telling myself it is safer to stay away!

8:28 PM  

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