For the first time in years, well, actually maybe ever, I am actually doing what Tom Lehrer so famously sang about: spending Chanukah in Santa Monica. And though i'm not quite wearing sandals, lighting candles by the sea, I did watch a beautiful sunset over the pacific.
And I'm not sure whether it's the pacific effect of the Pacific, general holiday happiness or whether I'm just tired from the transcontinental flight (which left at 6:00 a.m), but for some reason I found myself particularly pleased by a totally unsolicited e-mail from someone I've never met, who read the book and here as December draws to a close called it "the best book I've read all year." (and yes, he goes on to make clear that he reads a lot of books). So happy Chanukah to me.