“Improvements and failures — Thoughts on how to serve bubbly and more,”

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I awoke this morning to what looked like a special gift from our dog, Mollie, awaiting me on the floor of our walk-in closet. Upon closer inspection, as I picked sleep from my eyes, the little pile was branded “Skechers” and I realized it was just one of Sonja’s socks. No need to kill the dog today.  It would be an improvement, however, if those socks began to find the hamper. Then again, things would equally be improved if I were to clean the closet.

I spent a lot of yesterday thinking about improvements. I was thinking some of my workout routine, some of my diet, some of other behaviors I exhibit which arguable could be improved upon. I thought some of my attitude towards certain things and people. I think the most important thing is to be conscious of such things, and to strive ever to improve.

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As a concrete example of a small improvement in my life, I’ve found a butcher who cuts bacon in half-inch slabs. Sonja made some yesterday, and it was utterly divine. This is an improvement over what I once laughingly thought was “thick cut” bacon. Don’t you dare call yourself thick-cut, Mr. Bacon, if I do not require a steak knife with which to eat you.

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At brunch yesterday, I served our sparkling wine in Riesling glasses, rather than flutes. Flutes are for show, and I know this, but I’ve hung with them — probably at least in part because we own some. Yesterday I went with more traditional white wine glasses. The improved aromatics took a solid but unremarkable Cava and improved upon it.

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After brunch, we appointed a bedroom in the new house with some beautiful antique furniture that a friend is letting us borrow. The empty room, now with a dresser, nightstands, and a bed complete with head and footboard, was certainly improved upon. Some sheets will improve it even more.  Sometimes, but not always, improvement comes by addition.

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Later on, at Costco, I saw the above. I didn’t have to taste it to gag on the commercialism. Is Johnnie Walker really so desperate that they need a television show to market their whiskey? I was embarrassed for them. I sent this image to the friend who got me hooked on GoT, and he responded that he suspected the product was rubbish. I’m sure he’s right.

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Back home, after dinner, Titus, Sonja, Zooey and I watched a Mickey Mouse Christmas special on TV. Kids make Christmas far more fun. Zooey was cuddling with her momma for much of the time. Some things can never be improved upon.

In my life, I see room for improvement. I suspect the introspective all do. I also, however, see an awful lot of things that I am simply grateful for, and which I like the way they are. I need to remember not to be seeking improvement so desperately that I’ll settle for mere change, lest I become the human equivalent of a bottle of desperately commercialized scotch. Sparkling wine is definitely better in a Riesling glass, and if I ever find bacon cut too thick, well, I’ll let you know.  This morning, I want to get a better warmup in before I run — I think that would be a genuine improvement on my exercise routine. I’d better get moving in that direction.

Cheers to improving ourselves — and to realizing when things are pretty great as they are,

Mark

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