Last night, I had the

Last night, I had the strangest dream.

I dreamed that three businessmen were sharing a motel room. No, it wasn’t that kind of dream. Instead of traveling luxuriously on the company’s dime, I think they were some sort of business partners and trying to save money wherever possible.

Anyway, they were in their room when a priest showed up with a videotape. He popped it in and sat down to watch it with them, periodically interrupting the action (no, it wasn’t that kind of action, I think it was a car chase) to ask theological questions. Stuff like “What would the Holy Spirit say about Penzoil?”

The businessmen seem to have passed the test, because when the priest got up to leave, he gave them a coupon good for a free car rental.


The Saga of Shamu Butterpot, P.I.

I am quite distraught. Shamu Butterpot, P.I. is dying.

Yes, already!

I have no idea what the problem could be. I gave him water (but not too much). I gave him light (but not too much). But his green leaves are turning brown and falling off.

I think Shamu Butterpot, P.I. is part bamboo and part palm. Maybe these parts are warring, making him sick, sapping his poor little life away.

Alas, poor Shamu Butterpot, P.I.; I knew him, Horatio.

If there are any botanists out there willing to make an emergency house call, there is some nice green tea in it for you.


I was going to write

I was going to write today about my new sound system. I think it’s called a sound system. I actually don’t know what a sound system is. But anyway . . . its sound, it’s a system. Work with me here.

I was going to write about my new sound system, which I purchased in a brief fit of consumer insanity last week. The fit lasted only long enough for me to saunter into Circuit City, slap down my credit card, and saunter out a great deal poorer but as the owner of a brand-new stereo tuner with surround sound, five tower speakers, and enough power to blow the roof off my building (or at least make my downstairs neighbors very, very angry).

I was going to write about that, and about how it took Rob hours to put together and set up, and about how we couldn’t get it to work at first, and we thought it didn’t work, and then we found out we were doing it wrong, and it did work after all.

I was going to write about all that.

And then I had some root beer.

Last night, Rob brought over some cans of A&W root beer for root beer floats. This morning, the empty cans were lined up, waiting to be recycled, and I noticed something strange about them. The cans, painted the typical A&W golden brown, are festooned with subtle-but realistic-illustrations of water droplets, as if they have been sitting in a bowl of ice on a humid afternoon and condensation has formed.

Don’t they look cool and delicious and thirst-quenching.

No, they sort of look like they’ve been dunked in poison and left to dry.

What the A&W people hope to get out of this, I can’t imagine. I mean, their slogan is “frosty mug taste,” not “frosty aluminum can taste.” Most customers buy A&W root beer from the store shelves, where people certainly look askance at any sort of alien liquid dripping down the products they are considering purchasing. If they do happen to buy it from a machine, the decision has been made by the time the can puts in its appearance. Those little drops of refreshing dew aren’t going to influence anyone one bit.

I suppose I’m just cranky because I don’t see why people have to change things all the time. What was wrong with the A&W cans they had when I was a kid? It is true that the great mantra of marketing is that things need to appear fresh and new, but what’s wrong with stale and old? I mean, it’s an aluminum can full of poisonous chemicals, for heaven’s sake. Why not highlight the fact that no one would be able to tell the difference if it was manufactured yesterday or in 1979?

Or maybe I just answered my own question. Never mind.

I wish I could blame my purchase of a new sound system on mistakenly drinking root beer manufactured in 1979, but it was all my own idea. My television speaker blew out, and I somehow got the notion that adding on some surround-sound speakers that cost twice as much as the TV did originally would be a better idea than replacing the set.

It’s sad that a can of root beer, if left untouched, would last decades longer than a television. Of course, the television, buried in the junkyard, might get the last chuckle if someone twenty years later encounters the dusty A&W can, wonders what that stuff is dripping down the side, and throws it away without opening it.


Yesterday evening, I went to

Yesterday evening, I went to kundalini yoga for the first time. Though kundalini sounds like a type of pasta, it is actually a strenuous, aerobic form of yoga characterized by deep breathing, repetitive motion, and the fact that its masters dress up in swami outfits, turbans and all. As a first-time visitor, I was, to my tremendous dismay, not allowed to wear a turban.

The kundalini yoga center is in Union Square, and the rush-hour commute from the Upper West Side was enough to leave me cross-eyed with tension and bristling with ill will toward the universe. These feelings began to dissipate at the center, which was tranquil enough to freeze a hummingbird in mid-flight, and their vestiges were banished by the yoga itself. The movements, at first, seemed almost comical to my Western sensibilities, but their physical and mystical effects were undeniable. Rob likened the profundity and spirituality of the experience to going to church, but since one does not emerge from kundalini yoga basking in the hypocritical glow of moral superiority, his metaphor evaporated upon contact with the atmosphere.

After class, there was free yogi tea. Yum.

I want to go back regularly, but I am afraid that the actual process of getting there on the subway at rush hour will be so traumatizing that even the impressive power of the yoga itself will be enough only to return me to my pre-commuting insanity.

I am also afraid that I will never get to wear a turban.


More on “Trading Spaces”: They

More on “Trading Spaces”:

They call it a game: can you design a room for a thousand dollars? And it is a game, but it’s not that game. By the time the work begins, the game is over, because the real game is Russian roulette: will you get a good designer or a crappy designer?

As a (graphic) designer myself, I’ve decided to rate them, in order, here. Do feel free to disagree in the comments section below.

Top Tier
The good Hildi–unique design solutions, clear and interesting vision, steers clear of the “expected”
Vern–tight control, clear vision, pretty rooms, too much of an established “style”
Laurie–the female Vern; if she does one more yellow room, I’ll die

Edward–good vision, occasionally unique solutions, relies too heavily on fabric, and what’s with that hair?
Genevieve–interesting inspirations, eye for cool graphics and colors, lacks control over final solution
Doug–interesting ideas, relies too heavily on his glazes, tries too hard to be a “bad boy” to be truly successful as a designer

Bottom Tier
The bad Hildi–her failed experiments, rooms usually have one or two redeeming features, at least she tried
Christi–seems as if she’s trying to be Laurie but lacks her clear vision; when she tries for “unexpected,” she ends up with “unappealing”
Rick–comes across as if he knows what he’s doing, so maybe he does, but you couldn’t tell it from his rooms so far; seems as if he’s trying to be Doug, and may actually be his boyfriend
Frank–been getting better lately but still a disaster, no vision whatsoever

Run for Your Life
Kia–’nuff said


To make up for my

To make up for my recent light blogging, I have posted three entries today. Scroll down to see them all.

It has been a while since I have written about “Trading Spaces.” This could be because it was in repeats over the summer, or because of my conviction that the show jumped the shark with the advent of Kia and the expansion of its franchise into “Trading Spaces: Family.” But I saw two new episodes on Saturday that have inspired new commentary.
There is a new designer named Rick Rifle. I was prepared to love Rick, one, because he’s pretty cute, and two, because he was so well prepared to do his job. In fact, early on, I did declare to Rick, through the television, that I was madly in love with him, much to my boyfriend’s consternation.

Then I saw what he did.

On his premiere episode, Rick created what is easily the worst room to ever appear on the program (and yes, I’m counting Kia’s monstrosities and even Hildi’s “hay wall” and “flower wall” in this estimation). Bright turquoise walls . . . a faux-finished table in the most hideous of greens, with random squares of gold leafing to complete the gaudy effect . . . orange curtains that would look tacky even in a bordello . . . striped, multi-colored upholstery that would be more suitable for a clown suit than a bench. The homeowner was horrified and furious when she saw what had been done to her house, and I died a little inside, too.

On his second episode, Rick conjured the spirit of Africa and built a tent in someone’s family room. Even people in Africa don’t live in tents, but now some poor suburban American family is going to have to live with that dust trap next to their kitchen.

In Rick, “Trading Spaces” has accomplished what I would not have imagined possible: they have combined the worst aspects of each of their existing designers into one adorable package.


Doggy Is as Doggy Does

My dog, Goblin, has often been labeled a “little person.” Perhaps this is because of her personable personality, or because she likes to prop herself up on her back legs when she first meets someone. I have written before in this journal about my conviction that she is actually a shape-shifting human sent to spy on my every move, which is why I wouldn’t undress in front of her for years.

With so much evidence (largely imaginary, granted) of her higher brain function, it is always startling when she acts so . . . doggy.

Case in point: over the weekend, as Rob and I walked her off-leash in the park, she started eating another dog’s poop off the pavement. We screamed at her to stop, but it was too late. A few minutes later, she surprised a nighttime squirrel (a.k.a. rat) and managed to lick it before it scampered off.

Horrified beyond words, we brought her home and attempted to improvise some way of washing her mouth out with Listerine. We also made her sleep in her crate so she couldn’t lick us unawares in the night.

They really don’t cover this sort of thing in the dog manuals.


Another Valuable Life Lesson from

Another Valuable Life Lesson from Cold Creek Manor:

Words can hurt, but a hammer can hurt a lot more.


Movie: Cold Creek Manor Valuable

Movie: Cold Creek Manor

Valuable Life Lesson(s): 1) Never, ever leave New York City again. 2) Anyone named Ruby is going to be problematic. 3) Stained glass will shatter, oh yes it will.


While I was giving Goblin

While I was giving Goblin her evening walk, a strange little man wearing a Scent of a Woman cap gave me a strange look.

Ten minutes later, a strange little dachshund wearing a collar that appeared to be constructed of celery gave Goblin a strange look.


Yesterday, I came home from

Yesterday, I came home from an appointment to find my boyfriend organizing one of my closets and watching Sybil, a classic movie in which Sally Field plays a character with over a dozen disparate personalities. While a profoundly disturbing and touching film, it also features moments where these personalities speak in Exorcist-like screeches and burst into off-key songs such as “Easter Parade.” I had gone into my bedroom with my laptop computer to make progress on some long-overdue work, but these bits of soundtrack reached me even there and pierced me like a drill.

“Easter Parade” was the last straw. I burst out of the bedroom and stared at Rob, who started laughing at what I was clearly thinking. “This has to stop!” I announced, switching off the television.

“I was just procrastinating from doing my own work anyway,” he said. Suddenly very brusque, he jumped to his feet and left the apartment with barely another word. I spent the night alone with Goblin and a preternaturally organized closet.


Today, I took a cab

Today, I took a cab driven by a man in full chauffer uniform. “Don’t you want to know why there’s a cab driver in full chauffer uniform?” he asked.

No, I thought. “Sure,” I said.

He explained that he had been a limousine driver until September 11, 2001, after which time the bottom fell out of the chauffer business. Now, he said, he drives a cab, but he likes to go the extra mile to make sure his customers have a positive experience, because one positive experience could brighten someone’s entire day, and one positive day can brighten someone’s entire life. “I’m like a computer icon,” he finished. “You can think of me in my chauffer uniform whenever you need to feel positive, and you will. It’s like clicking on a computer icon and having a file open. What do you think? Eh? Eh?”

Gag me with a spoon, I thought. “That’s lovely,” I said.

He asked what I did for a living, and I told him I am a graphic designer; in a misguided effort at solidarity, I mentioned that my own field has also been heavily affected by September 11.

That’s when he tried to enroll me in his multi-level marketing system. “You can earn an extra $8,000 or $10,000 per month! And we’ll train you to be a regional vice president. What do you think? Eh? Eh?”

I’d like to shoot you in the back of the head and watch your brains splatter across the windshield, I thought. “What an opportunity!” I said.

The rest of the ride was a sales pitch. Not only could I make a lot of money, I could enroll all of my friends as a way of helping them, too. Because it’s all about helping people, yessiree Bob! All I had to do was say the word, and he’d personally take me to his organization’s weekly meeting at LaGuardia airport. “What do you think? Eh? Eh?”

Shooting won’t hurt enough . . . I’d like to see you drawn and quartered, then beheaded, then burned, and have your ashes flushed down the toilet, I thought. “I’ll have to let you know,” I said.

When I paid my fare, he gave me my change in an envelope along with a computer-generated thank-you card. The note inside read: “Let me Thank You for being a valued client! I have so appreciated serving you. I look forward to many years of giving you the highest standard of excellence in service. Signed, Your Positive Taxi Driver.”

You know, on the one hand, it’s nice to see someone happy with what he’s doing and taking pride in his standard of service. On the other hand, I don’t think pestering your customers with a pyramid scheme represents a particularly high standard of service.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have to get changed for my meeting at LaGuardia airport.


As you know, the problem

As you know, the problem with deviousness is that its fruits are lonely and unspeakably bitter.


I had a lovely dessert

I had a lovely dessert today with my friend Lauri, who is pregnant, which got me thinking about babies. I will not be obtaining any babies, a decision I came to three years ago when I discovered exactly how hard it was to take care of another living creature, a.k.a. my dog. I am not, apparently, the nurturing sort.

I bring this up because, after our lovely dessert, Lauri accompanied me to a plant store, where I attempted to buy a ficus tree. Only the man who ran the store was determined that I not buy a ficus tree because they are notoriously difficult to take care of, so I finally settled on a large pot of bamboo. As I was paying for this, the man asked, “Are you good with plants?”

It was a fair question, and I opened my mouth to say “Of course!” Only I suddenly flashed to a project I created while working on my MA in graphic design. It was supposed to be a “designed personal statement,” but I could think of nothing except to scan withered leaves from all of the plants I had killed, which surrounded my desk and pointed at me accusingly with their twisted bare branches. I called it “The Death of Plants” and got an A+.

The “of course” lodged in my throat, and I was able to emit only a small gagging sound. “Is this your first plant?” the man asked. He went on to give a detailed lecture about watering and sunlight and blah blah blah. I can’t remember a word of it, except that it sounded infinitely more complicated than the dog, which is difficult enough. I hope Lauri didn’t start having second thoughts about that baby.

The bamboo just arrived at my apartment, and other than coming up with a name for it (Shamu Butterpot, P.I.), I don’t know what to do.

Pray that the poor thing doesn’t end its days in “The Death of Plants II.”


Rob reminded me that I

Rob reminded me that I didn’t mention the most obvious lesson from Cabin Fever:

If you see a putrefying corpse floating in a reservoir, don’t poke it with a stick.

Can’t argue with that.


Rob and I just saw

Rob and I just saw a movie called Cabin Fever, which was actually not as terrible as I thought it might be. It, like Death on the Nile, contains a valuable life lesson:

Never-and I do mean never, ever-leave New York City again.

Never, ever.

In other news, everyone go to this site. If the “weekly poll” about Iraq is still there, please share with these people a more accurate worldview than the one prevailing as I type this. (Sixty-four percent of respondents as of this posting claim that the “progress” of the “war with Iraq” is going “right on schedule.” Of course, there is not an option for “miserable failure,” but even the insanely timid “running into difficulties” is better than nothing.)


When I lived in Chicago,

When I lived in Chicago, my first job was as a copywriter at an electronics catalog. It was a temp job, so in addition to being treated like a slave, my poorly paid position could be eliminated at any moment. I worked crammed in a room with the catalog and product managers, proofreaders, line artists, and the support staff (including the office manager). There were about five of us temps, and we were put under the supervision of the office manager, Jewel, who very shortly after I was hired took an extended leave of absence to care for her carpal tunnel syndrome. Her assistant, Denise, efficiently stepped up to the plate, handling Jewel’s work as well as her own with a pleasant manner. The funny thing about Denise was that she kept the Legend of Jewel alive in the months her boss was gone. According to Denise, Jewel was the cat’s pajamas; she was smart and kind and hard-working and a joy to work with. When, after some months, Jewel eventually returned, she turned out to be a bitch on wheels. She was mean and inefficient, and she clamped down upon the temps like a Lady Pinochet, to the point that we had to ask her for permission to use the bathroom. The office morale, which had not exactly thrived under Denise but was at least tolerable, plunged into the toilet (it was the only thing that didn’t have to ask Jewel’s permission to go).

The company itself was a whirpool of incompetence, petty politics, and despair. During my first week, I was informed that bets were being taken as to how long I would last on this difficult, badly paying job. Apparently, the temp who had held my position before I did went to lunch one day and did not return. I stuck it out for about six hellish months before I found work someplace else.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about this today, except that perhaps I’m casting my mind out to when I lived in other cities to avoid thinking about the ramifications of living in this one, which two years ago tomorrow was the site of the unthinkable horror. But for the sake of my fragile sanity, I will write no more on the subject now, nor will I be posting tomorrow at all.

See you Friday, September 12.


Little-known fact: I met my

Little-known fact:

I met my best friend Viki through a series of events sparked by a short story I wrote, in Spanish, called “Murphy Brown and the Three Republicans.”


In response to my revelation

In response to my revelation of the powerful life lesson I gleaned from Death on the Nile—in which I advised that if you find yourself on a boat where every other passenger either has a motive to kill you or is an internationally famous sleuth, you should abandon ship post haste-a certain smart aleck wrote the following, which Goblin and I have interpreted as a cry for further advice and responded accordingly:

Um, I . . . well, um . . . this is so embarrassing, but I seem to have found myself in exactly this situation.

The problem is, there are no lifeboats.

Do I jump overboard and attempt to swim to safety, hoping that my second-grade water safety certificate will stand me in good stead, or do I take my chances?

David responds:
This, of course, depends heavily upon the location of the boat and its proximity to shore. If you judge that you are at lesser risk from crocodiles, sharks, or sea monsters while floundering toward shore than you are from a bullet in the brain while remaining aboard, by all means swim for it. Otherwise . . . you know . . . take precautions. Keep your cabin locked. Post a guard. Or ask the detective for help: that’s what he’s there for. Whatever you do, don’t saunter around insulting everyone while flaunting your expensive pearls, for that is a recipe for disaster.

Goblin responds:
Hello hello hello! It’s Goblin! I have been away for a while plagiarizing Aunty Rindy’s doctoral dissertation but now I’m back back back! Did you miss me?

*lick lick lick lick lick*

The other night I caught a mouse. Mouse mouse mouse! And it was mine but Daddy took it away! Mine mine mine! That’s not fair! Daddy says that mice spread disease but it was a clean mouse. I could smell the Irish Spring. Daddy says that the mouse could’ve bit my eyes but it stayed pretty much in my mouth. It was chewy.


Oh yeah. Advice. I say to jump in the water and do the dog paddle! If you see a crocodile do the dog paddle in the other direction! It’s easier to escape a crocodile than dodge a bullet to the brain!



We took an extended walk

We took an extended walk last night, Rob and Goblin and I. And incidentally, am I alone in wanting to refer to them collectively as “Robgoblin”? Okay then . . . we took an extended walk last night, Robgoblin and I. To the park, down the Bridle Path to Tavern on the Green, then a meandering loop through the center, which deposited us on Fifth Avenue. Miles, we walked. Miles and miles. And incidentally, am I alone in thinking I write too much about Central Park? Okay then . . . what I wanted to tell you was that the Goblin half of Robgoblin caught a scurrying mouse. It all happened so fast. The Rob half of Robgoblin and I were so stunned that it took us a moment to leap into action. Rob leapt into action by standing there and holding Goblin’s leash, and I leapt into action by grabbing Goblin and forcing her to drop the poor creature, which upon hitting the ground limped around in stunned circles. Then I held Goblin’s leash while Goblin strained to retrieve her catch and Rob bent down to get a better look at it. “Maybe its leg is broken,” I said. “I think its back leg is broken,” Rob said. “GIVE ME MY MOUSE!” Goblin said. “MINE MINE MINE!” We stood around for a while feeling bad for the mouse, except for Goblin who still wanted to eat it and the mouse who was probably just feeling bad in general, but who is to say that a certain amount of that was not self-pity? Then we started walking again. “Maybe the mouse is just pretending to have a broken leg,” Rob said. “Maybe,” I said. “Maybe an owl will swoop down and eat it,” Rob said. “It’s the Circle of Life,” I said. “You never let me eat anything I find on the street!” Goblin said. Then Robgoblin and I went home.


Last night, Rob and I

Last night, Rob and I rented Death on the Nile, which is probably the best of the Agatha Christie movies. I figured out who the killer was before Inspector Poirot gathered the surviving suspects, and I also figured out a valuable life lesson. Since it’s not every day a movie can illuminate a valuable life lesson, I thought I’d share my revelation:

If you ever find yourself on a steamboat upon which every other passenger but one is not only connected to you in some way but actually has a motive to kill you, and if that last passenger is an internationally famous detective . . . abandon ship! You are doomed!

Unfortunately, some of us have to learn valuable life lessons the hard way.


Earlier this week, at the

Earlier this week, at the insistence of my dear friend Faustus, I attended a class at my gym called Total Body Conditioning. “Total Body Conditioning” is one of those labels like “Compassionate Conservatism” that sound soothing and positive but are in actuality evil lies. I was dismayed to learn, for example, once the class began, that we would not be lying around for an hour coated from head to toe in buttery Herbal Essence hair conditioner. Oh no. We would actually be contorting our heads and toes and everything in between into gut-wrenching positions, to which either weights or grueling body movement were mercilessly added. The entire experience was capped by the instructor, the most genetically perfect female I have ever encountered, who supplemented our exertions with a running commentary on inane “Charlie’s Angels” plots.

I did survive the hour, if you call transformation into a sweaty heap of overcooked pasta survival, but my prognosis is grim. Yesterday, I made an emergency acupuncture appointment to soothe the dagger-sharp pains that developed on my shoulder and above both of my elbows. Roberta the acupuncturist addressed those concerns but referred me to her colleague, a podiatrist, to deal with the pain I’ve been having for several days in my ankles and feet. The podiatrist had two surprises up his sleeve. The first was that-surprise!-he was the cutest damn podiatrist I have ever seen. I mean, who would have guessed? The second was that-surprise!-I have tendonitis in my feet. And if I might extrapolate from his diagnosis, given my intense pain and the fact that I can’t bend or lift my arms, I seem to have tendonitis everywhere.

My poor, tender tendons.

You know, as an American, I am tired of being lied to. Let’s call things what they are. Compassionate Conservatism is not remotely compassionate, and not even conservative, if we’re going by the classical definition of the word. Let’s call it “Greedy Malevolence.” And as for “Total Body Conditioning” . . . I’m thinking “Acceleration of Personal Entropy” is infinitely more accurate. If it fits on the poster.


When I was single and

When I was single and in graduate school, lo all those many years ago, there was a cute guy who sat across from me in one of my classes. I made eyes at him all during the first session, and we had a decent conversation after the second. By the third, I was ready to swoop in, but as I still didn’t know whether he was gay or straight, single or attached, I decided to look for a wedding ring. For two hours, I waited and waited for him to move his left hand where I could see it, and when he finally shifted positions, putting his left arm on the table, my gaze shot to his hand at warp factor five.

Only . . .

Well, it turned out he didn’t have a left hand.

But since he wasn’t wearing a ring on the hand he did possess, I screwed up my courage and asked him out on the sidewalk after class.

Only . . .

Well, it turned out that he had a boyfriend.

We became friends, though.


This is what Goblin does:

This is what Goblin does:

When we are walking, she is always on the prowl for opportunity. Her eyes dart everywhere; her ears are cocked in their most alert position; she sniffs the air and ground, leaving no stone unturned. Finally, she spots something—a squirrel, a nighttime squirrel, a mouse, a dog she thinks she can beat up (which is all of them)—and she leaps into action, straining at the leash, clawing at the ground, doing everything possible to get at it! If she chases a squirrel up a tree, she waits under that tree. If she chases a nighttime squirrel into a hole, she waits by that hole. Finally, I have to pull her away, but she resists with all her might. She is focused. She is aquiver with determination. She doesn’t care what anyone says.

Finally we’re walking again, but she is turning around, eager for one last glimpse. She is trying to go back, to seize the day. Abruptly, when she realizes it’s truly hopeless, she whirls around. It is a contemptuous whirl, an “I didn’t want it anyway!” whirl. Her irritation continues for a few moments, but then I see the ears perk up again, the eyes begin to dart, the nose start pulsating as it takes in new smells. She is on the prowl for the next opportunity, her previous failure utterly forgotten.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere.


Yesterday was so beautiful that

Yesterday was so beautiful that I took Goblin for a long saunter around the park. We circled the Great Lawn and hiked past Belvedere Castle, through the Ramble, and around the lake until we at last arrived at Strawberry Fields. Although I had passed it a number of times, I had never entered Strawberry Fields until that very moment. Goblin and I admired the sculpted lawns and sat to rest by the Imagine mosaic.

One of the fascinating things about Central Park is that each zone is so distinct. The playing fields of the Great Lawn cater to the jocks, the Ramble features solitary men who follow other solitary men with their eyes (or disappear with them into the foliage), the lake attracts lovers of all sorts, and Strawberry Fields lures musicians, tourists, and residual hippies. At Imagine, Goblin and I enjoyed the live Beatles music and watched the Japanese tourists kneel on the mosaic to have their photos taken.

After a little while, we walked home via the Bridle Path.

It was a day of transcendent moments. Not only did I get to commune with the spirit of John Lennon, but on the way to Strawberry Fields, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the most awesome vista ever: a combination of lake, trees, and cityscape so inspiring, I could have encountered it only in one place before . . . the closing credits of “The Jeffersons” where, over the humming gospel singer, Isabel Sanford intones, “‘The Jeffersons’ was recorded in front of a studio audience.” And you know, if it were a serious, “very special” episode, there would just be silence, as if Isabel Sanford just wanted to give us a moment to let it all sink in.

That’s what it felt like yesterday.

It all sank in.