1. A few years back, I was on a beach in San Diego watching a yellow lab chasing after a stick in the ocean. He had a grand time leaping over the waves to get to that stick. Then he’d bring it back to his person and jump in all over again. The game of fetch went on for a good 20 minutes.
I bet that lab looked like this seen from underwater. (Reggie doesn’t like having a bad fur day so he prefers to observe from the sidelines.) Check out Seth Casteel’s amazing underwater dog photography on his FB page. Wow! What a talented photographer. These dogs look like they’re having a blast.
2. Emails: 343. Revised HUD Forms: 5. Months in progress: 4.5. Refinance closed: 1.
Finally on Wednesday, after 4.5 months, I closed on my mortgage refinance. There seems to have been some confusion about my closing and another closing that took place in New York City on the same afternoon. I understand the bewilderment. Let me be the first to come clean.
The property I closed on was not, I repeat not, the $88 million Central Park West, 7,000 square foot terraced apartment with oval-shaped master bedroom and 4.5 baths. That place is officially the most expensive apartment in the city, having increased in value 66% over the previous sale price, and was purchased by a Russian billionaire for his 22-year-old daughter. (Interesting aside: his fortune was made in potash fertilizer. And my mom told me there was no future in that!)
Thank you for understanding. I’m glad I got that off my chest.
3. There’s always room for chocolate. Oh, yes there is. To celebrate my friend’s birthday was last week, we went to The Chocolate Room. It’s a cubicle-sized shop right in the neighborhood. They serve (you guessed it) all things chocolate. Just inhaling the heavenly scent makes me feel I should join a Zumba class.
What we have here is blackbottom butterscotch pudding with homemade whipped cream and a chocolate cookie on top (L) and their signature chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce (R ). (Sorry the photo is grainy. It was super dark in there.) Five seconds after this photo was taken, the plates were clean.
4. I can’t seem to set a bedtime. I find myself trying to cross one more thing off my to-do list at midnight when I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. for work. Well, I’ll just clean the toilet bowl before I climb into bed. This routine doesn’t make for a happy camper in the morning, as my co-workers will attest.
Gretchen Rubin, creator of The Happiness Project, posted seven tips for sticking to your bedtime. (Aww, Mom! Just five more minutes!) Number five on her list is to “remind yourself how great it feels to wake up naturally, before the alarm goes off.” That’s called Sunday.
Do you have trouble going to bed at the same time each night? What do end up doing instead of getting shut-eye?
5. Sexual imagery in the Gettysburg Address. Monday is President’s Day here in the US (technically Abraham Lincoln’s birthday), which we celebrate by having lots of sales at the mall, apparently.
I came across a book I had read years ago, tucked away in the back of one of my bookshelves – a memoir by writer Peggy Noonan. She was one of the first (perhaps the first) female presidential speechwriters. You have her to thank for Bush’s “thousand points of light” speech and the commemoration that Ronald Reagan made in Normandy for the 40th anniversary of D-Day for the boys of Point du Hoc. (Ranked as the 60th best speech of all time, by people who rank such things. If you have a few moments, check it out. You’ll see most of the “boys” were there in the audience, by now old men at this time.)
In her book, Noonan talks a lot about the grueling editing process and how many people who know very little about anything get to weigh in on the finer points of her writing. So in honor of one of the most perfect speeches ever made, Lincoln’s 273 words after the Battle of Gettysburg, Noonan subjected his address to presidential editing. Here’s a funny look at what she thinks would have happened to the Gettysburg Address:
Have a great weekend, everyone!