On the daily drive back from dropping off the children, I tired of the news on NPR and started channel surfing to find some music. The state of the radio is … well, I suppose that’s why we all travel with CDs and iPods. I eventually stumbled onto some blusey jazz being played on the University of Richmond station. Now, I love jazz. But it’s not really morning music for me. Jazz implies the blue hour, at least. Which got me to thinking about morning routines (Roy Scheider in “All That Jazz” always springs to mind when I think of morning routines. “Could be worse!” I think cheerily.)

I’d never, until today, understood people who insist on having built-in DVD players and flat screen televisions concealed beneath bathroom mirrors or suspended under kitchen cabinets and the like.

You see, in an ideal world, I’d have a dressing room instead of just a walk-in closet. Large, well-lit, airy, be-curtained and hung with a chandelier, the room would also have at least a club chair or a bench. It would also feature one of those flat screen TVs and a DVD player. Why? Because my morning routine would involve screening some classic movie moments and proceed into a concert of upbeat music. Mozart? Vivaldi? Scott Joplin? Preservation Hall Jazz Band?

You may ask, “why go to all that trouble?” (Or, “who has the time?” But this is an ideal world, remember?)

I’ve said before that elegance requires constant practice. I’ve also read that the human brain can really only focus on one thought at a time. Why not make it a pleasant thought? And what better practice than to watch those icons of style and grace floating through life? It might set the tone for the rest of the day. Well, morning, at least.

What scenes or musical pieces would you choose to set the tone for your morning?

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