The alarm sounded at 6 a.m. Luckily I am used to getting up early. At 6:15 the phone rang with the first of the morning's live radio interviews. There were the usual questions, me trying to give a lively description of our new book—I explained that it is an aide-mémoire for the home cook. When you are in the kitchen and have forgotten how long to cook the leg of lamb, or how to unmold the jellyroll cake, just look in the index to find the page with a few short, snappy sentences to answer your questions. No sooner was that call done, when the phone rang again with the second of my three "morning drive time" phone interviews. Since all three stations were based on the East Coast, the calls were scheduled for 6:15, 6:30, and 6:45 Pacific Coast time. More of the same questions and answers, although I tried to vary my responses—rather than a leg of lamb, it's a roast chicken! Instead of a jellyroll, I talked about how to save the hollandaise. When interviews are scheduled back to back like that, it is important to keep the energy level up so that it sounds new and interesting every time. It is new to them, even if I have just said the same thing 15 minutes ago!
Once those calls were out of the way, I began my morning exercises. Then, off to breakfast, followed by a visit to the hairdooserie. It is nice to be back on familiar turf for things like hair appointments. Often, when you are traveling on PR tours, you get people who are just wrong in every way—they do you the way they think you should be done instead of the way you are comfortable with, so you feel miserable all day. Anyway, it was nice to see Elva and to have the style I like.
At noon it was time to get into the car and go to the little hotel down the road to pick up my producer and his wife. We headed out for a bit of lunch at a little Mexican restaurant and then headed into downtown Santa Barbara. All the holiday decorations are up, shoppers are out in full force, and it looks festive indeed. We made a quick trip to the post office and ran some other errands before heading back home.
I have not had much chance to do office work, and it was good to be able to sit quietly at the computer for several hours. There always seems to be mountains of mail to read and answer, not to mention all the holiday cards that are already arriving in copious piles.
This was the first night in a long time that I didn't have any scheduled obligations. I cooked a small rack of lamb and a baked potato and made a nice tossed salad. After cleaning up the kitchen, I packed my suitcase for a three-day trip. Tomorrow we have an early start—off to the airport for a brief PR tour in Dallas.
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