STOP THE PRESSES!  Is it the end of August already?  Is this strange season coming to an end?  Can we close the book on the weirdest summer ever?

I Googled "weird summer" and this image came up.  It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but close enough.

I Googled "weird summer" and this image came up.  It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but close enough.


So September begins tomorrow, or will have begun by the time you read this.  For me, still in a school-year headspace, that means all the new's:  New school year, new Jewish year, new TV seasons, new books, new classes, new supplies -- my youngest exhibit™ is still a student -- and of course, many new possibilities.  We drive up to campus, with my exhibit's mini-fridge, rice cooker, ukelele, yoga mat, clothes, books, art supplies, and so on this weekend for the next round of her adventure.


And now for my week's 5:

1.  I'm sure many or most of you have heard of this app, if not become diehard users.  It's a way to make restaurant reservations in most places around the world on one's phone or computer.  It's infrequent (though not rare) for me to make a restaurant reservation without it.  Not every restaurant participates with it, and it's not always easier, but for the most part, Opentable and Resy, another reservation maker do improve my life. Plus, you get points towards discounts the more you use it! (My family sometimes competes over whose account to use, just to see who gets the discount points.)


2.  Saying Thank You.  Hearing Thank You.

Remember when mommy and daddy told you there were "magic words"?  Please and thank you are magic; they make the person who hears them feel special.  I hate to speak like a parent to toddlers, but saying please and thank you make a world of difference. It takes one second.  [See my "EXTRA" blog from earlier in the week.]  I have been struck by how many people forgo what I consider a necessary piece of social intercourse.  If someone does something thoughtful, say thank you.  Do people think they are showing weakness if they say thanks?  You are not.  Is everyone so entitled that thank you's and please's go without saying?  They don't.  I'm not even talking about thank you notes, though I treasure every one of them I receive.  I honestly don't understand or accept any excuse for not showing a smidge of gratitude.  As the world becomes more polarized, mini expressions of appreciation are even more valued.  End of lecture.


3. "Game-changers".  When someone recommends something to me with this particular expression, I pay attention.  I want in to the next game-changer.  My friend Laurie has a game-changer (finger)nail hardener:  Prolana Nail Optimizer.  She said it changed her life, so I immediately ordered it.  I think it works, but I confess I lost interest in my nails.   As a giver, I pass that on to you, free of charge.  Exhibit B bought me a makeup blending sponge, which she said was a game-changer (pictured below) - which led to Exhibit C approving of my blush application for the first time..  PLEASE SHARE A GAME-CHANGER WITH ME/US WHEN IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS BLOG.


4.  16.9 fluid ounce bottle of water.


I'm not fussy when it comes to brands of bottled water.  (I can barely taste the difference between Evian, Poland Spring, and New York tap water, to be candid.)  But this particular size bottle is my favorite.  Voilà!  It fits into my purse!  On hot summer days it is crucial that we drink plenty of water.  A bigger bottle is heavier and the water I can't finish gets hot.  A smaller bottle is cute but not right. Do I sound like Goldilocks?  I often refill my 16.9 oz bottle when I'm out, but going forward I plan to carry a more efficient refillable water bottle around, to do my bit for the environment.  For now, I just want to extol my favorite size container.


Mueller hockey539_10155338171966895_552471388565274624_n.jpg

I don't like to talk about the president on this blog, but let me say this:  He can fire anyone he wants, he can badmouth and lie about his enemies and pander to his base, he can try to profit off his position, and he can mistreat the underclasses, but he will never have the gravitas, the strength of character, the intelligence, and the discipline of former FBI Director and Special Counsel, Robert S. Mueller.  Thank you Ann Hodgman for this photograph of Mueller at the annual FBI vs. Secret Service hockey game.

A great Labor Day weekend to you all!

Stay cool & act natural.