Funny how this Independence Day feels different from all other Independence Days.  Without sounding too dramatic, I think the 4th felt more "hol" than "holiday" because it fell in the middle of the week, without the embrace of a full weekend of merriment or the trappings of vacation.  Businesses in New York City were open, restaurants were open, Brooks Brothers was (were?) open. The sense of a shared day was only evident in the emptiness of the streets. People were observing the holiday by staying indoors in air conditioned rooms.

Even #ExhibitD, Henry the Dog wanted no part of yesterday's heat.

Henry in his summer activity mode.

Henry in his summer activity mode.

Another thing:  I don't recall a time in my sentient adulthood when this country has felt less united.  Do you? I'm curious about your take on July 4th, 2018. But... onto the good stuff.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.04.45 AM.png

1.  I love fried chicken.  I'm crazy about it. It might just be my Kryptonite.  This is a late-in-life change of affairs from the years -- decades --  when I could not resist a hamburger. One of my exhibits thinks that my love of this dish is borderline obsessive, and worrying.  But I'm not worried, because so far I am not even remotely tempted to fry chicken myself. When I start making it, spattering myself with hot oil, causing the smoke detector alarm to sound, filling the kitchen with the smell of grease -- then be concerned.  It's harmless for the time being, until I turn into a fried chicken, or marry a fried chicken.

(Some favorites:  Root & Bone, Hill Country, Blue Ribbon, Boka)

2.  Spelling Bee, my favorite word game in the New York Times.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.05.30 AM.png

I like to play this game when I wake up.  It jump starts my brain and it's fun. It's difficult.  I won't consider myself done with Spelling Bee until I reach at least the "Amazing" level.  (The numbers change daily but here is an example of the rankings:


Ranks are based on a percentage of possible points in a puzzle. The minimum scores to reach each rank for today’s are:

  1. Beginner (0)

  2. Good Start (2)

  3. Moving Up (5)

  4. Good (9)

  5. Solid (16)

  6. Nice (27)

  7. Great (44)

  8. Amazing (55)

  9. Genius (76)

I was enjoying Spelling Bee in a private little bubble, until I discovered that my boyfriend's brother and sister-in-law play it too, reaching a level THAT IS NOT EVEN RECORDED ON THE OFFICIAL RANKINGS called Queen Bee, which is when one has found every word on the possible list.  Now I'm feeling competitive and defensive, a problematic combo.

3. I love bright colors.  Not exactly a breaking headline.  I had a black leather wallet recently, which I had to find by touch, if not sight inside a dark and turbulent shoulder bag.  As readers of this blog may recall, I lost that wallet in Seattle, my only consolation being that it was probably found by one of the many thousands of homeless people there and put to good use.   Here is my new wallet:

How could I ever lose this baby?  (Don't answer.) At least now you've all seen it, you'll recognize it in a taxi and return it to me.  #ThanksInAdvance

4.  You, my reader.  You make writing this (for me, very personal) blog rewarding.  I know it's been a hard year for us all and the reactions and responses tell me this is helpful for you.  Writing it has been helpful (for me) (who else?).

5.  You know him, you love him, you're rooting for him:  Robert S. Mueller.

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 11.06.56 AM.png

Stay cool!

Lisa xx