I missed last week’s Salon (not that anyone probably noticed) because of a solo weekend trip to visit The Husband in Pittsburgh. There was a black-tie event (a sit-down dinner! one where I actually got to sit down!) and an overnight
splurge stay in a hotel. We drove around some of the towns we’re considering moving to and visited some Open Houses. It was a great trip, and was exactly the kick-in-the-pants I needed to get moving (literally) with packing boxes and finishing getting our own house ready for the market. (It’s been a slow process.)
There was a milestone of sorts reached in that 300+ mile trip. It was the first time I’ve ever gone away without a physical book accompanying me! And I gotta say … being bookless felt weird. Like I was missing an appendage or something. Of course, I had my Kindle, so I really wasn’t bookless, but being without a physical book was odd. It was only for two nights (one of which was spent at the event), so I knew that the 305 books that I have on my Kindle (mostly freebies and a lot of classics) would suffice.
(I wound up reading – via Kindle – the first chapter of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which is one of my currently overdue library books and one that I don’t want to return. And of the five audiobooks I had with me, I only listened to the first CD of That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo before deciding that this one wasn’t holding much magic for me. Into the DNF pile it goes.)
The first sentence of Bloom’s book is the eye-opening “Every day, America wastes enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. Yes, THAT Rose Bowl – the 90,000 seat football stadium in Pasadena, California.” He gives more statistics and backs up his meticulous research with an engaging narrative that is making this a really interesting read. The jacket copy proclaims “after reading American Wasteland, you will never look at your grocery list, dinner plate, or refrigerator the same way again.” That’s the absolute truth. On Thursday night, neither Betty or Boo finished their plate of spaghetti. “I’m too full,” Boo said. “That’s fine,” I replied. “It can be your dinner tomorrow night.” He looked at me like I’d sprouted another head. But when you’ve just read that the average family wastes $2,200 a year on food that is discarded (and that is a conservative estimate), then dammit, that spaghetti is making an encore appearance.
I’m hoping to finish American Wasteland today, although I’m not sure that will happen. This move is taking a toll on my reading progress (and my blogging, and my aching back), I’m sorry to say. I’m at the point where I need to pack up some of my books (have been putting this off as much as possible) and return some of my library books.
Hope you’re having a great Sunday!
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