”I was born and brought up in Paris, remember that. You can say, ‘What difference does that make?’ It makes all the difference. People who are born in Paris are a little different. It is a fact that people there are more interested in [style]. Then once you have that standard, you must maintain it.” —Diana Vreeland


Why don’t you have your windows replaced and have some of them converted to doors like they do in Europe? (I’ve also seen this occasionally in California, but they’re a rare exception, usually in expensive rentals. Windows are windows and doors are doors in most of California yet.) I’ve always thought it elegant how people in Agatha Christie’s novels are always stepping in and out of library windows and coming across a corpse. I’m not wanting corpses outside my library, I just want the luxury and decadence of entering the house through a window. Long story short, I’m getting new windows. And they’re sensationally beautiful. And they’re unexpected and I love them passionately. And two of the bigger windows are being restored/converted to sliding patio doors that match the other windows and will eventually lead to a wraparound porch and it’s making my design dreams come true and I just might pass out next month when the last window is delivered. I won’t be able to wait for spring so the upper level can be done. I truly believe that the windows have changed my life for the better. 


Why don’t you rejoice that Martha Knows Best is back? They call it season two, but like…season one was just yesterday. Time means nothing in 2020, though, have you noticed? It’s weird. Anyway the show remains the funniest thing in the world. I’ll be watching taped episodes of it in fifty years when I’m eighty. She yells at her gardener. She is me in the pumpkin patch. Her Zoom cocktail hour with friends is oddly familiar and she is just a delight dressed as a witch and throwing pumpkin guts at geese. Her driver was dancing with a Westminster winning chow. I’m not making any of this up. It’s wonderful. Her life is all I want. The little bits of it that I’ve achieved have been some of the absolute best parts of my experience as a human. I love Martha. 


Why don’t you memorize the cast recording of a musical you’ve never managed to see? I don’t know what Annie Get Your Gun is about, reader. I’ve got vague ideas but I’ve never seen the show on stage and if there was ever a film adaptation it has never flickered across my retinas. But there’s a recording that Doris Day does, and I know every line, I know every breath, I know exactly what expression to make to tell the audience that Buffalo Bill, in the wise and infamous lines of Shania Twain, “don’t impress me much.” I hope I never see the show. I’d rather have my delirious plot be the reality. What if it’s awful, you know? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed daydreaming up my own interpretation. 


Why don’t you Street View the addresses you find in your used books? I would imagine at least a quarter of the money I’ve ever possessed has gone to books. I’m building a home library right now. I don’t remember when I discovered the Amazon Marketplace but it changed me forever. I’m buying cheap used books all the time. Books I never dreamed of owning. Books so cheap that I forget buying them randomly show up months later after languishing in South Africa’s postal service. Right now I’m reading a fabulous rendition of ancient Egyptian history by Arthur Weigall. It’s a hundred years old, theoretically shaky, and absolutely dreamy. He’s one of the few specialists that knows how to WRITE. Anyway this book used to live in a mansion in Wales! Imagine! The manor has since been split into two homes, but I’m thrilled that in the 1920s when the ink on my book was still fresh, one of the first owners, Graham Freeman had style and taste. And a mansion.


Why don’t you buy just as much Alien Tape as you can possibly get your hands on? If you ever watch infomercials, you’ve seen people slapping bricks on walls with Alien Tape and they just stick like concrete. I found four rolls on sale on a discount app, so I had to try it. I imagined it wouldn’t work, but reader, after going through an entire roll, I would trust Alien Tape with my life. I would dangle off a mountain if Alien Tape were holding me. I used it to hang a mirror. It will take an earthquake to get it off the wall. It’s dramatically strong. I’ve found so many wonderful uses for it around the house. I’ll buy it as long as they make it. 

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