Browsing all posts in Beer.

Oct 7th
Sunday

holiday, time off, freedom

On holiday starting next Saturday.
Writing has been a bitch for about several months now,  hence no new posts.
Let’s see about November.
Catch you guys on the flipside . . .

~m

Jul 10th
Tuesday

fried clams, diet, food, heath

 

About a month or so ago Pamela decided that we needed to modify and improve our eating habits.
We shied away from calling this a diet and settled on what we consider to ultimately be a change
in lifestyle.
What we’re doing is in no way groundbreaking but it does make a lot of sense.
Based on your height and current weight you are allowed X number of calories a day.
Pamela said, “If you want to drink Guinness all day, you can. But when you’ve reached your calorie limit, you’re done.”
Obviously a diet consisting purely of Guinness draft would never work for me.
Just for shits and giggles I did figure out that I could have 12 glasses of the dark magic to equal my daily allotment.
My employer wouldn’t like it nor would my MD (who already put the kibosh on my past Guinness intake)
One or two beers a night doesn’t seem like much in the scheme of things but it does add up over time.
I’ve since limited myself to several on the weekend.
I am breaking my own rule tonight as I write this by having one but I have counted it and still have 600+ calories to consume before bedtime.
I have lost close to 14lbs since embarking on this diet change and I have noticed some changes in my body.
It’s easier bending over and the edges of my underwear don’t roll up anymore like a tightly made burrito from Taco Bell.
And I will need to look for some new khaki’s and pants soon because when I tighten my belt the trousers reek of hillbilly feng shui.
Maybe I just need a rope belt.
Walking is easier and sleeping is more sound these days so I’m thinking I’m on the right track.
But with everything good comes something not so good.
I am realizing that two visits to 5 Guys Burgers in one week is not a good thing.
Fried Clams are not my friends anymore (sadly) and Ben and Jerry’s should actually be illegal.
I think back through my eating history and just wonder, ‘what the hell?’
But fried clams are sooooo good.
As is Chunky Monkey ice cream.
But I also want to be around to see my grandkids, too.
You can’t have both.
Fried clams or grandkids?
How about fried grandkids with a side of Chunky Monkey?
I digress . . .
At 53 years old, I have seen the light.
It’s not pretty to look at but it has shown me that the food I was eating was killing me.
Sodium, saturated fats, sugars and little bastard carbs have been swirling around my body wreaking havoc on everything from my triglycerides to my cholesterol and more.
Now before you start thinking I’m going all health-nut on your ass, I’m not.
We all make choices everyday in terms of the food we eat.
I’m just thinking we could all do a bit better.
This little nugget came to me after a friend inhaled an entire plate of Dan Dan Noodles from P.F.Chang’s a week ago.
(I call the restaurant Poof Changs)
On a whim, I checked out the nutritional value online and was gobsmacked.
One order of Dan Dan’s supposedly serves three people, not one.
One serving contains 990 calories.
Sat Fat: 23gms
Carbs: 143gms
Sodium: (a drum roll, please) a whopping 6190mgs!

I do hope I was reading the chart wrong and maybe I was.
A dish with over 18,000mgs of sodium can’t be possible, could it?
Your heart would just stop, yes?
Either way at over 6K mgs of sodium, divided three ways you’re still talking close to one daily allotment of salt.
Smack my ass and call me Sally, that’s a shitload of salt.
All I’m saying here is you should weigh your options in terms of what you eat.
I will get off my dietary soapbox now and go back to wherever it is that I go when I’m not writing.
It’s a low-sodium place these days.
When our friends from Australia get here in October, Mark wants fried clams.
Immediately!
I’m hoping he’s up for splitting an order.
I want him around for a long, long time . . .
and you guys too.

Jun 24th
Sunday

snags, Australia, food, family

 

A year ago about this time the talk around town (and Facebook) was all about Pamela and me going to Australia.
It seems like yesterday but it feels like years since we were talking about it.
That said, here I am still reminiscing about the 2 weeks in time that I will not soon forget.
I began writing about our journey a while back and stopped short for reasons that now elude me.
Let’s just say that life sometimes gets in the way.
Please forgive me.
My last post got us to Townsville in Queensland where Moe and Mark live.
I remember descending into the small airport and thinking, “So, this is where we Skype every weekend,” not knowing that there was much more than meets the eye behind this place called Townsville (aka, Paradise).
After taking a badly needed shower, Pamela and me proceeded to do what you do on holiday.
We sat our asses in the backyard and had a few drinks, a few cigars and talked about our flights over.
The QLD sun was hotter than I thought it would be and I found a slice of shade to sit in.
I kept mentally pinching myself as if to notify my tired brain that I was really sitting in Oz;
being that far away from home can disorient you into believing you’re not really there.
I got the piss taken out of me 244 times that afternoon. (yeah, I counted)
The plan for the day was to chill out for a bit and go to Mel and Steve’s
(Moe and Mark’s daughter and son-in-law) later that day for our first authentic Australian barbecue.
The details of our first afternoon are a bit foggy but I do remember shitting my pants on our drive over when Mark went into the first Aussie roundabout I had ever encountered.
I mentally made the sign of the Cross knowing I was about to die because he was going the opposite way that people in the States go.
After getting through the roundabout I once again made the sign of the Cross and began a deeper understanding of the phrase, ‘DownUnder’.
Please pass me the vegemite.

We arrived at Mel and Steve’s and got a tour of the place which was under some serious renovation.
With the help of Caleb and Lucas (M&S’s sons) we toured the house which was in a transition phase.
In about six months this place would be a palace.
I still badly want Mel’s kitchen which was any true chef’s dream.
Appetizers came out; Prawns (huge ass shrimp for you folks in the Northeast, but they’re sweeter than shrimp),  Cabana and cheese (Cabana is like a really nice mild but spicy kielbasa), fruit, veggies and more than one could ever eat. [just you wait for my description of the amazing Brie in Victoria]
But Steve had a plan for me in terms of Australian beer.

Batter up!

beers, Aussie

My review:

XXXX Gold: (rat piss in a can, and Steve told me I could just toss it, which I did)
Toohey’s New: (not bad but reminded me of Sam Adam’s lager, which I hate. I drank it though)
VB Victoria Bitters; once again not bad but not much better than Toohey’s.
James Boag; a total winner for me, hands down. A great beer with flavor and strength to boot.
With multiple beers under my belt I watched in amazement as Steve grilled our food.
The smell coming off the grill should be made into a MAN cologne. [truth]
Snags, lamb chops, steak and grilled onions made my stomach yearn for some food.
Snags, btw, are beef sausages and not available in the US.
Sad.
The aroma of grilled snags is simply wonderful.
Steve also made some snags w/ vegemite.
How do you spell AWESOME?
We sat and ate a BBQ that just blew my mind (and our caloric count for the day)(like I was counting, right?)
Life was very good that night at Mel and Steve’s.
Very good.
To them we were in a sense strangers but they made us feel like family.
And maybe we were; I like to think that.
The blazing sun had set hours before we got done eating and it was time for yours truly to look at the Australian night sky.
Me, Mark, Steve, Caleb and Lucas went out into the front yard.
“There it is,” Mark said.
As he was pointing, I saw it.
I’ve loved stargazing for as long as I can remember but never have I wanted to see something as bad as this.
“The Southern Cross.”
I gazed at it, totally spellbound, tears forming in my eyes.
My first night in Oz was now complete.
That was until Mel brought out the Pavlova.
Holy crap.

to be continued . . .

 

ps. Snags and eggs? I love you.

Aug 16th
Monday

It has been a crazy few months around here (hence, the reposts)
and I am still
desperately trying to get caught up and back to square #42.
By the time I reach ‘Square #1‘  it might be the name of a new high fiber breakfast cereal
that enables you to ‘pass’ wicker furniture out your keester like soft butter.
That said, thanks to all that have continued to stop by.
I have come to a turning point here at Smoke & Mirrors and can’t quite figure
out how to navigate the current seas. (hence, the current rambling post)

My original intention was for this place to be a ‘cyberpad’ to collect my many thoughts and
emotions as I watched both of my parents battle Alzheimer’s.
It was just that and so much more, truth be told.
I am still estimating the casualties physically and emotionally but have temporarily closed the door.
I will re-open said door at some point but for now it’s off limits as I’m still too close to it.
The Alzheimer monster is never far away though as it currently sinks its sharp teeth
into the life of my father-in-law.
This time things feel different if only because I know exactly what to expect.
It doesn’t make it any easier to watch the scenario play out but I’ve learned where
to store the emotional carnage.
I still fully expect to have the occasional  ‘son of a bitch, I hate this disease’ day but this time at least
I’ll be prepared.
Maybe even overqualified, IMHO.

I am still sorting out in my head the three weeks we spent with Maureen and Mark.
I have no idea where to even start;
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–
except at occasional intervals,
when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets . . . “

Nope.
That would never do.
Check out the Wordle at the top of this post.
It is a very good rendition of not only my current state of mind but of three most incredible weeks of my life.
And it may explain just how crazy things have been around here.
Pamela and I now have our eyes solidly set on a 2 week vacation next July.
My boss gave me a thumbs up today on an extended sojourn to Australia so the planning can now begin.
As far as the blog is concerned, for now I’ll just play it by ear.
Lord knows as a musician I’m used to that . . .

Mar 18th
Thursday

God willing, Pamela and I will be traveling to North Queensland, Australia in 2011.
It’s a long story as far as my newborn love of a country I’ve yet to see but know that
most of the story is already here on the blog.
Troll the tag ‘Australia’ and I think you’ll begin to see why.
We have taken into our hearts two people from the ‘Godzone’ and will be spending
three wonderful weeks with them this coming July.
That said, I found this essay tonight from a favorite writer of mine and thought it was worthy
of a pass along.
Adams has amazed me for years if only for his twists of ideas and language.
When I saw his thoughts on Australia, I had to share this.
It is, for the most part, a tongue-in-cheek look at a country/continent/ island  most of us barely understand.
Pamela and I feel like we’re getting close though.
And we love it, vegemite/Bundaberg and all.
I just want to see the Southern Cross.
Too much to ask?
I think not.
*btw-Pamela is not laughing about all the insects, spiders and other yukky, crawly things Downunder.
I told her, get a stick.

This is Douglas Adams and his deepest thoughts on Australia.

______________________________________________

Australia is a very confusing place, taking up a large amount of the Bottom half of the planet.
It is recognisable from orbit because of many unusual features,
including what at first looks like an enormous bite taken out of its southern edge;
a wall of sheer cliffs which plunge deep into the girting sea.
Geologists assure us that this is simply an accident of geomorphology and plate tectonics,
but they still call it the “Great Australian Bight” proving that not only are they covering up a more frightening theory, but they can’t spell either.

The first of the confusing things about Australia is the status of the place.
Where other land masses and sovereign lands are classified as either continent, island, or country,
Australia is considered all three.

Typically, it is unique in this.

The second confusing thing about Australia are the animals.
They can be divided into three categories: Poisonous, Odd, and Sheep.

It is true that of the 10 most poisonous arachnids on the planet, Australia has 9 of them.
Actually, it would be more accurate to say that of the 9 most poisonous arachnids, Australia has all of them.
However, there are curiously few snakes, possibly because the spiders have killed them all.
But even the spiders won’t go near the sea.

Any visitors should be careful to check inside boots (before putting them on),
under toilet seats (before sitting down) and generally everywhere else.
A stick is very useful for this task.

Strangely, it tends to be the second class of animals (the Odd) that are more dangerous.
The creature that kills the most people each year is the common Wombat.
It is nearly as ridiculous as its name, and spends its life digging holes in the ground, in which it hides.
During the night it comes out to eat worms and grubs.

The wombat kills people in two ways:
First, the animal is indestructible.
Digging holes in the hard Australian clay builds muscles that outclass Olympic weight lifters.
At night, they often wander the roads. Semi-trailers (Road Trains) have hit them at high speed, with all 9 wheels on one side, and this merely makes them very annoyed.
They express this by snorting, glaring, and walking away.
Alas, to smaller cars, the wombat becomes a symmetrical launching pad, with results that can be imagined, but not adequately described.

The second way the wombat kills people relates to its burrowing behaviour.
If a person happens to put their hand down a Wombat hole, the Wombat will feel the disturbance and think
“Ho! My hole is collapsing!” at which it will brace its muscled legs and push up against the roof of its burrow with incredible force, to prevent its collapse.
Any unfortunate hand will be crushed, and attempts to withdraw will cause the Wombat to simply bear down harder. The unfortunate will then bleed to death through their crushed hand as the wombat prevents him from seeking assistance.
This is considered the third most embarrassing known way to die,
and Australians don’t talk about it much.

At this point, we would like to mention the Platypus, estranged relative of the mammal,
which has a duck-bill, otter’s tail, webbed feet, lays eggs,
detects its aquatic prey in the same way as the electric eel,
and has venomous barbs attached to its hind legs,
thus combining all ‘typical’ Australian attributes into a single improbable creature.

The last confusing thing about Australia is the inhabitants.
First, a short history:
Some time around 40,000 years ago, some people arrived in boats from the north.
They ate all the available food, and lot of them died.
The ones that survived learned respect for the balance of nature, man’s proper place in the scheme of things, and spiders. They settled in, and spent a lot of the intervening time making up strange stories.
Then, around 200 years ago,
Europeans arrived in boats from the north.
More accurately, European convicts were sent, with a few deranged and stupid people in charge.
They tried to plant their crops in Autumn
(failing to take account of the reversal of the seasons when moving from the top half of the planet to the bottom),
ate all their food, and a lot of them died.

About then the sheep arrived, and have been treasured ever since.
It is interesting to note here that the Europeans always consider themselves vastly superior to any other race they encounter, since they can lie, cheat, steal, and litigate (marks of a civilised culture they say) – whereas all the Aboriginals can do is happily survive being left in the middle of a vast red-hot desert, equipped with a stick.
Eventually, the new lot of people stopped being Europeans on Extended Holiday and became Australians.

The changes are subtle, but deep, caused by the mind-stretching expanses of nothingness and eerie quiet,
where a person can sit perfectly still and look deep inside themselves to the core of their essence,
their reasons for being, and the necessity of checking inside your boots every morning for fatal surprises.
They also picked up the most finely tuned sense of irony in the world,
and the Aboriginal gift for making up stories.

Be warned.
There is also the matter of the beaches.
Australian beaches are simply the nicest and best in the entire world.
Although anyone actually venturing into the sea will have to contend with sharks,
stinging jellyfish, stonefish (a fish which sits on the bottom of the sea, pretends to be a rock, and has venomous barbs sticking out of its back that will kill just from the pain)
and surfboarders.
However, watching a beach sunset is worth the risk.

As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst, and wombats, you would expect Australians to be a dour lot.
Instead, they are genial, jolly, cheerful, and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger, unless they are an American.
Faced with insurmountable odds and impossible problems, they smile disarmingly and look for a stick.

Major engineering feats have been performed with sheets of corrugated iron, string, and mud.
Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the ‘Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence’ syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side of that fence.
They call the land “Oz”, “Godzone” (a verbal contraction of “God’s Own Country”) and
“Best bloody place on earth, bar none, strewth.”
The irritating thing about this is they may be right.

There are some traps for the unsuspecting traveler, though.
Do not under any circumstances suggest that the beer is imperfect, unless you are comparing it to another kind of Australian beer.
Do not wear a Hawaiian shirt.
Religion and Politics are safe topics of conversation (Australians don’t care too much about either)
but Sport is a minefield.
The only correct answer to “So, howdya’ like our country, eh?” is ”
Best {insert your own regional swear word here} country in the world!”.

It is very likely that, on arriving, some cheerful Australians will ‘adopt’ you on your first night,
and take you to a pub where Australian Beer is served. Despite the obvious danger, do not refuse.
It is a form of initiation rite.

You will wake up late the next day with an astonishing hangover, a foul-taste in your mouth, and wearing strange clothes. Your hosts will usually make sure you get home, and waive off any legal difficulties with “It’s his first time in Australia, so we took him to the pub.”, to which the policeman will sagely nod and close his notebook.
Be sure to tell the story of these events to every other Australia, you encounter,
adding new embellishments at every stage, and noting how strong the beer was.

Thus you will be accepted into this unique culture.
Most Australians are now urban dwellers, having discovered the primary use of electricity, which is air-conditioning and refrigerators.

Typical Australian sayings:

* “G’Day!”

* “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.”

* “She’ll be right, mate.”

* “And down from Kosciusko, where the pine clad ridges raise their torn and rugged battlements on high, where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze at midnight in the cold and frosty sky.
And where, around the overflow, the reed beds sweep and sway to the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide. The Man from Snowy River is a household word today, and the stockmen tell the story of his ride.”

Tips to Surviving Australia:

* Don’t ever put your hand down a hole for any reason whatsoever. We mean it.

* The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you think it is.

* Always carry a stick.

* Air-conditioning.

* Do not attempt to use Australian slang, unless you are a trained linguist and good in a fist fight.

* Thick socks.

* Take good maps. Stopping to ask directions only works when there are people nearby.

* If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you at all times, or you will die.

* Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is always a core of truth that it is unwise to ignore.

See Also:
“Deserts: How to die in them”,
“The Stick: Second most useful thing ever” and
“Poisonous and Venomous arachnids, insects, animals, trees, shrubs, fish and sheep of Australia, volumes 1-42″

Feb 4th
Thursday

When faced with a choice between Saints and Colts, I am obviously going with the Saints.
I have nothing to lose with this Super Bowl but I do pray that Archie, Eli and Peyton Manning
eat a big ass plate of crow after the game.
Paytoilet is a great quarterback, can’t take that away from him, but I do hope he gets his clock cleaned early and often. (come on linebackers)
As far as Archie and his age old nepotistic tendencies regarding his sons?
Give me a freekin’ break.
Will he ever stop pulling the corporate strings?
CBS will undoubtedly show many pics of the shithead man during the game.
If you do a shot of metamucil everytime they show Archie (which they will) you will shit for
10 years straight.
Better off to stick with the Cuervo Gold.

Go Saints!

Please obliterate the pretentious Manning masheen once and for all.
See you guys next week.
I am outta here!

 

Sep 14th
Monday

Many a hot summer night will find me on the back deck with my laptop,
a cold Guinness and a nice warm cigar.
It’s what I choose to do during this season.
I dream about it at work, on the train back home and make the dream come true when I get there.
I’ve been known to choose the back deck and a cigar over a Red Sox game. (oh, the horrors!)
My daughters will come and go during the night passing me on their way in and out of the house.
They usually wave their hands in a back and forth fashion in front of their face to let me know
that my cigar stinks like poop.

I usually turn and say, “Someday, when I’m gone-” (and I get cut off)

“We know Dad, when you’re dead and buried we’ll be walking down a street and smell a cigar and think of you.
How nice. That thing stinks.”

“Gee, thanks, hon. Love you, too.”

I usually utter that to an empty backyard because they’ve already gone back into the house.
I smoke some very nice cigars, folks.
I have 12 year old Cubans in my humidor, for God’s sake.
These ain’t your Daddy’s Phillie Grape-flavored Blunts.
I’m thinking Pamela actually likes the aroma of at least a few of them.

Last Sunday, a woman came into the store,
stopped in the middle of the floor and closed her eyes, inhaling deeply.
She opened her eyes, smiled and looked at me.
She was crying.

She said,
“I hope you don’t mind but I’m taking a walk down Memory Lane here.
Places like this just remind me of my Dad. It’s almost like he’s here.”

“He is,” said I.

She looked around as she was leaving and almost lovingly said,
“Thank you so much.”

If I had a dime for every time someone said, “this place reminds me of my grandfather,”
I would be a very rich man.
I usually smile, nod my head and think, same old, same old.
Been there, cut the cigar, smoked the cigar and bought the T-shirt.
For some reason, this woman seemed different to me.
Maybe it was the fragments of truth that seemed to hang on her every word.
She was moved to tears by the aroma of a century old cigar shop.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised.
I can only hope that years after I’m gone, my daughters can still find a special shop that offers up the unique and precious memories that mine currently does.
They may just have to settle for the aroma of some fine Cuban cigar wafting through the air
of some distant and special summer night in the distant future.
That will be Dad, girls . . .  that special kiss on your cheek.
It’s me.

Aug 16th
Sunday

food, Dad's Diner, recipes

I’ve wanted to keep a record of personal recipes for my daughters to cook
when I’m someday reduced to a room temperature dish of Fettucine-al-Dead-o, or Face-Planting the Meringue maybe even pushin’ up the perpetual parsley.
Something about food that’s familiar is quite simply
comforting with a capital C.
I began thinking about a small book of some sort but that idea fizzled.
A blog made more sense as it’s something I can just keep adding to as the years go by and I come across more recipes.
Click on the picture above and check out Dad’s Diner.
Eat at Dad’s where you’ll live forever and the cheeseburgers are to die for.
As always, I’ll leave the lights on for ya . . .  ;)

Ralph's Diner, food, cheeseburgers

ps. special thanks to Maureen for helping me get this up and running.

Aug 13th
Thursday

Christ, breaking bread, communion, religion, Alzheimer's

Sarah and I went to visit my father yesterday to feed him lunch and sit with him for a while.
Lately, he’s been overly emotional for reasons I may never be privy to.
The minute he saw us, he broke down completely.
I feel terrible saying it but I’ve almost gotten used to it now.
I had to.
My empathy for him that once seemed to be an impossibility to avoid feeling
has now turned into an acceptance of sorts that boggles my mind.
He was in the rec room that overlooks the city waiting to be fed.
I wheeled him to his room where I know it’s quiet and had Sarah get his lunch.
He’s a finicky eater these days around everyone except my sister and me which makes total sense.
His diet is now 100% pureed making his meals look more like and artist’s palette than a meal.
I learned yesterday that spinach makes my father cry.
On his plate were potatoes, spinach and something that would resemble pasta and meatballs in the ‘baby food’ format.
20 years ago, the thought of drinking an Italian meal through a straw had never occurred to me.
My father’s daily nutritional needs are now thrown into a blender ala ‘Bass-O-Matic’.
And I wonder why he cries?
I can’t get away from the feeling that a small part of him is frightened.
Not of me or Sarah or Maureen or Pam and the kids but he seems almost Fear Factor scared.
My sister says he’s a tortured soul and I would have to agree.
There are so many things that run rampant through my mind as I feed him, spoonful by blessed spoonful . . .
(I’m looking at a rainbow hovering over Boston as I write this. Truth)

there was the day we brought my mother to assisted living and took my father back to our house for a BBQ.
That may have been one of the last times that I actually ‘had’ him.
He was making sense and I could talk to him and he could understand me.
He was profoundly sad about bidding farewell to his wife for two weeks but at least he still liked the taste of beer (something he’s since lost long ago)

Spoonful by blessed spoonful . . .

the soft, cool grass beneath my feet in the backyard as we played catch after he got home from work.
We never talked when we played catch but there was conversation that he and I understood.
Especially when he threw a ball with some mustard on it, smiling as I caught it.
That was my own personal field of dreams.

Spoonful by blessed spoonful . . .

the Christmas night I went to the facility he was staying in and found him in a self-induced sugar coma after polishing off an entire bag of Dove’s chocolates that someone had given him.
There were candy wrappers everywhere, discarded like wrapping paper on Christmas morning.
He seemed ready to do jumping jacks, for Christ’s sake

I keep praying for a rainbow in his future but he’s having one hell of a time seeing through the gauzy reality he’s currently living in.
I finish giving him lunch and to my surprise he’s eaten everything save for the Popeye spinach soup.
I’m happy because he has a belly full of food but he’s the farthest thing from a happy ending because he knows it’s time for me to go.
I kiss his forehead and say, “I love you, Dad,” to which he replies, “Yeah.”
Sarah and I walk to the door and she says, “Bye, Grampa.”
More Wally tears.
We walk down the corridor to the elevators in silence as I allow myself to cry a bit on the inside
wanting badly for the seemingly inconsequential goodbyes to finally end.
It’s then that I have an small epiphany; as I feed him lunch, he’s actually feeding me.
It’s a Communion of sorts between my father and I.
I change my mind then and there.
And all of a sudden I don’t want the goodbyes to end.

Jul 9th
Thursday

It’s always a daunting task starting a new journal; all that virgin white space,
the absence of anything resembling a word or thought, and the cackling cynic inside me all trying to sway me towards more menial things like cutting my lawn (which needs to be done, btw) or re-grouting the tile in the bathroom.
This soft leather-covered journal was made in Italy and given to me by my daughter Jenna.
It’s really gorgeous.
I began to wonder what will be written on these pages by the years end.
In 7.23 days, me, Pamela and the girls will be spending a week on Cape Cod with
Annie, Maureen, Mark & Evyl (and Joyce!)
The location will not be disclosed so please don’t ask.
We’re celebrating Christmas in July because my wife thought
December was a silly time for all the folks involved to visit.
This is going to be one of the most amazing weeks of my life while on this spinning blue ball in space.
There will be many things: laughter, tears, music, incredible food, stories, Rum Swizzle,
bourbon, Guinness and enough fine cigars to smoke out an army of stogie veterans.
Oh, and there will be stories.
I know I already wrote that but it needs to be repeated.
Honestly, where would we be without our stories?
If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d be spending a week of my life with people I’d never met I’d say they really ‘lost the plot’.
All of us talk on the phone and Gmail chat on a fairly regular basis so no one is a complete stranger here.
I’ve known Annie since our writing days at WVU.
And Evyl has been a true bud since I first started this blogging thing back in 2005.
As far as Maureen and Mark, I’ve known them from some previous life, or so it seems.
I could go on and on about my personal expectations regarding this most special of holidays but I prefer to record some actual memories in this very special journal.
Stay tuned for some truly awesome posts starting around the 18th of July (our first day on the Cape)
We have some blogging hijinx planned as well, actually more of a blog hijacking, so to speak.
All will be revealed in time.
We’ve all waited well over a year for this moment.
What’s 7.20 more days?
And it now looks like my new journal isn’t so new anymore.
Stay tuned.
As far as the post title goes . . .  my dear Pamela is pretty damn sure *she may not be ready.
Just watch her ‘Twitter’
for more details!
:mrgreen:
Ready or not Cape Cod, here we come!

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