The Irish Post- Last Call

Seneca once opined that every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. It was a thought so laden with festive sounding implications that the twin city rock band Semisonic repackaged the quote a few years later and fetched some pop culture notoriety in the doing.

What does a Roman philosopher and a bunch of white kids from Minnesota have to do with the Irish post? Well, they provide cover for my last call. As in, this is the last regular post on Drinks. But I’ll get to that in a moment. And for this particular jaunt, James Joyce has been replaced as the key holder by Rob Zombie. Sooo . . . there’s that.

Lemme start by saying how funny a thing love truly is. And by funny, I mean . . . funny. Let’s face it. Love makes you feel good, do good and want good. For you and for the universe at large. When you got love, you imagine every single love song was pencil scratched into vinyl just for you. When you got love, you think Foreigner is a cosmic ally that was bottle tossed from light years worth of understanding away. When you got love, you possess the 20/20 vision of Stevie Wonder.

Love happens to be a cosmic provision with little to no concern for those mortal souls who find it to be cruel and unfair. Hey, it’s human to take things personally, rather than to seek a broader understanding of the stuff. Most people need love to be what they want it to be. They believe the end of such a significant event signals failure, without ever scrunching their toes up into a ball and stopping on that there mistake before they take a high noon step further. Instead, they keep on stepping until they reach a point of no return from which they find themselves at an impasse with the way things work.

It’s okay. These peeps usually catch up with themselves after bucco fat days where Haagen Daas and Cheetos become staple foods and plots to assassinate Richard Curtis become retirement plans.

To others, love is an acquisition. It’s something they believe will round out their perfectly orchestrated march to stardust. It’s a highfalutin bit of self centered me-speak that is indicative of a time and place where movies and romance novels are taken as blueprints for the real thing. And it is, to be perfectly frank, complete nonsense. Perhaps necessary, as pain pills and vodka are necessary . . but nonsense just the same.

The Holy Day went unanswered for me this year. There was little to no advancement of song or well spoken thoughts. Without benefit of some ninety proof inspiration, there were no clever haikus or misbegotten memes to be had on the 17th. And yanno what? It was plenty fine with me.

Instead, there were several woebegone texts from various members of my hard scrabble posse enlisting their condolences at the cancellation of festivities and asking me to coordinate a New York trip for next year. Which sounds a bit extreme on the face of it, but will happen nonetheless on a majority vote. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Supreme Court, Imma go with it.

So it was that I made my way out on the 18th instead. This wasn’t a makeup consideration, since that would’ve been akin to celebrating the 4th of July in October. I called up Big Papi because I haven’t seen him since our Super Bowl get together and then I texted my friend Brian to see what he was up to since I hadn’t seen him since our last ski outing.

Once upon a time, Brian had a life he believed would never go away. It began as a young man of party going age, when he took his impressive skill set on the slopes and began the wickedly obscene lifestyle of a circuit brat. When the money ran out, he went to work as an architect and he lived the life of Gatsby until his marriage went bad and the white picket fence became a studio apartment.

Turning off married life and moving into the next chapter wasn’t all that difficult for me, seeing as how I’m not entertained by conventions or traditions as much as I’m interested in keeping things quiet in my head and mellow in my soul. For Brian, not so much. He misses his old life every day. He wants for the things he once possessed, and I haven’t the heart to let him in on the fact that he never really had them to begin with.

Brian made the life changing decision a few years back to flip the script on his little black book when it became painfully apparent the life he once knew wasn’t coming back. I have to admit, when he first told me I thought he was joking and I made a rather crude joke that probably would’ve pissed him off if it wasn’t so fucking hilarious.

“How’s the new guy?” I ask as we toast to the St. Patrick’s Day that wasn’t.

“He’s a drama queen.” Brian replies.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” I say.

Big Papi tells Brian he never would’ve guessed and then he proceeds to ask a couple of alcoholically induced questions without being crude or prejudicial in the least, simply because it’s his way. I cut things off by screaming at the big screens that are busy delivering up the wrong final score in the Villanova game.

Big Papi is a frail facsimile of his former self, and the change has come rapidly. It’s increasingly difficult for him to get around and it is fast approaching that time when his strut is gonna be a motorized thing. He’s fifty five going on maybe another ten years if everything goes really well.

Still, he has pipes when it comes to anything sports related. And he’s using them on a group of young fellas who are high fiving each other. I can’t help myself, so I follow this up with the suggestion that they take their celebration to Madison, Wisconsin. I’m not really a Wildcats fan, but for the octane that a little smack talk may provide. The high fiving dissipates, but I’m pretty sure this has more to do with the fact that Brian is six foot too much with a mug that should’ve been cast in Goodfellas.

So there we were, the three of us, bitching about being men of a certain age whilst laughing about it inside the same vast breaths. Big Papi misses the good old days, and so does Brian. I happen to think it’s a waste of time, to miss them. Life is one big series of wins and losses, to which you can answer the uncertainty with swings. In the end, it’s all you got.

Donna and Allie arrive as we’re busy flagging down the waitress for a final round and they hop on the fledgling party bus. Donna is a forty something divorcee and Allie her younger concubine turned full time thing. The first time I met them, I was busy praying to Jesus that I might arrive at the bottom of a black diamond hill with all my necessaries still operational. They behave as if they’ve been married forever, and they’re much more interesting than that.

This is what love looks like in the new age. Everything is on the table, every happily ever after is subject to change. Nothing is as it seems, and to those things that are? Well . . don’t go putting money down on it. And so it was on the St Patrick’s Day celebration that turned into a simple trip to Buffalo Wild Wings the day after. Some decent eats, solid conversation, a few laughs and no bail was required.

As for Drinks? It is officially retired now. Which means not dead, but no longer around on any kind of regular basis. I’ll never delete it because why should I? And I plan on saying how do to my blog peeps from time to time.

This place was where the Irish post came to be. Out of the nowhere of misogynistic pleasures gone haywire. With dreams of hush and simple and a gallivant of primary colors gone sesame street. I turned albatrosses into a Paul Simon version of better. I measured my lack of discipline as per the ten commandments here. And not a soul knew how badly I was failing at them.

I bid you adieu with an adaptation, delivered up Cayman Thorn style.

May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. And may God have a wicked sense of humor who just so happens to be golfing buddies with Richard Nixon.

It wouldn’t hurt, is all I’m saying.

The Perceived Consequences of Christmas Guest Lists in the Age of Eric Lindros

Friendship SignYears back I used to hang with this guy who really annoyed the shit out of me.

It was back in a time when, admittedly, I used a pretty fat brushstroke when it came to defining what a friend actually meant. He wasn’t a friend, so much as an acquaintance, and he wasn’t even that so much as a familial obligation, and he wasn’t even so much an obligation as he was an asshole.

I was an asshole in my own right for hanging with him but I didn’t see it that way. I saw the arrangement as being a matter of efficacy. I was doing the wrong thing for what I thought to be a righteous reason. He was the son of one of my father’s business partners, and well, that’s where the familial obligation came in. I figured any camaraderie I could summon out of this ‘friendship’ would produce a positive bleed into my relationship with the old man, which has always been a complicated thing. Really, it was like tossing a golf ball down a bowling alley and expecting a strike. But I was young and stupid, a time of my life I now affectionately refer to as my early thirties.*

(*If you’re in your early thirties, don’t take offense. Stupid is a relative term, and my stupidity was relatively epic.)

This bargain basement deal met its end one night on the way home from a Flyers game and drinks. The conversation turned to my mom’s annual Christmas party and, more specifically the guest list.

“Marie doesn’t mind you hanging out with ex-girlfriends?”

“Why would she mind? She has guy friends, not a big deal.” I replied, parsing my response in the hopes he would get the picture and change the subject.

“Yeah, but I didn’t see any of them at the party.” He said.

At this point, I wanted to parse my response some more. Fuck you was making sense.

“What’re you getting at?” I asked instead.

“Perception is reality.” He answered smugly.

There comes a point in every man’s day when he has to decide whether punching someone in the face is a socially acceptable response. My moment came at some place close to midnight after a Flyers game and drinks.

“No, reality is reality. Your perceptions are what you bring into my reality and that’s not my problem, that’s yours.” I said.

I was proud of my reply, considering as how my brain was busy trying to abort the protocol for Defcon 1, which involved the launching of a Louisville slugger on the only available knee caps that weren’t attached to yours truly. My reply was smart, and it didn’t require bond.

“I didn’t mean anything by it.” He responded.

“My perception is that you did mean something by it. I don’t know what your home situation is like, but my reality is just fine. Thanks.” I said.

“No problems on my home front.” He said, almost childishly.

As we drove on in silence, I reviewed the flaws in my stratagem of befriending someone for indirect purposes. Ironically, I had forged a perception out of the realities when I entered into this tenuous alliance.

We never did the Flyers game and drinks thing again.

This episode did allow me to take inventory of who I could count on and who I couldn’t, and while the numbers fell precipitously, the importance of those left standing became magnified. My perception as to what friendship meant changed. I was no longer content to appease or collect. The logistics of my social interactions gave way to a much more rigorous set of standards, dictated entirely by reality.

My lesson learned was that you can always get busy blaming someone else for getting in your way, or you can thank them for giving you that time to stop and think. It’s not a glass half full, rose colored glasses view so much as a self driven mandate whose annuities will never leave you bankrupt.

I guess I owe the Flyers an assist.

We fight for the fine places we make in this world

This blog is where I come when I feel a soapbox moment happening, or to loose an idea or to rage over some miniature catastrophe with tongue firmly planted in one cheek while the vodka drenched olives hold tightly to the other. And then last week happened, and so I don’t feel much like camping out as Cayman Thorn today.

There was little Nichole Kristine Cable, who we came to know inside the desperate hours of her too short life. She only got fifteen years because a sick bastard lied her away from the house, and there’s no way you can wrap your head around this case without wanting to scream. My initial reaction is to curse the door that our connected world has opened. But I realize it’s not that easy. I realize that the worst laid plans of people do not concern themselves with convenience so much as they concern themselves with doing bad things, no matter the avenue they have to take to get there.

My reasoning self was justified and my scream stifled when I witnessed the rolled up sleeves I found across WordPress during the search for Nichole. Bloggers pressing their re-blog button, and showing me why a virtual neighborhood can matter every bit as much as the white picket fence variety. Hey, the only sense this world really makes, is that which we give to it.

What happened in Oklahoma is a humbling reminder that we don’t have the last word, despite our top of the food chain existence. Because the truth is, Mother Nature’s name is on the deed and we’re just renting. The proof of this was supplied by pictures of a town that went the way of a bad science fiction ending. And so it was heartening to see all the help that moved in just as swiftly as the tornado which had taken so much away. Cayman Thorn and I would agree on one count. Give.

I’ve never been to Colorado, but I have a solid education on the place thanks to a gal who possesses more back story on the Rocky Mountains than Sacajawea. Susie Lindau is a renaissance woman of the hottest order, with a To Do list that runs chapters long and never goes stale. She’s a one woman band, whose wild ride blog treats readers to heaping spoonfuls of love on everything from skiing to tennis to Christmas card making.

Susie shared her reality with all of us in a post this week. And I can’t go somber on this, because if I do, she’s going to fly in simply to kick my ass and fly back out. And there is nothing worse than having to pick someone up at the airport just so they can kick your ass.

Kicking ass is what Susie is going to be doing to the C word. Seriously, you mess with the bull, you get the horns AND Colorado, AND Danny. And all of us.  If you need more backup than that? You’re a shit screenwriter rehashing an ’80s cop show who’s hogging up all the Wi-Fi at your 7-11, so nuke that Hot Pocket and take the Asst Managers job at Target already!

As for backup, we got your back, Susie. All of us, from here to there and every other single place in between.

We love you. Much and always. For teaching us the one simple thing in a world gone mad.

Love wins.

Guatacular is officially a word I just made up

Blog of Year AwardGuat passed along some love last week that I’m just now getting around to thanking her for. If I worked for the Postal Service, such prompt attention would fetch me a raise. In bagels. Which . . . is pretty damned good.

This mad scientista of The Wish Factor nominated Drinks Well for “Blog of the Year”. Methinks she was dipping into some chocolate liqueur when she did so, but I’m not launching an investigation or anything. Seriously, I’m honored to be thought of in such good stead by a writer I enjoy immensely. That’s better than bagels, any day of the week.

So the rules of this, well . . I have no idea because I’m so lousy with rules. The management at Adam’s Mark Hotel in Philadelphia can attest. In my defense, I thought painting the walls and installing a full size fridge would only increase the value of the guest room.

I’m just fooling, I know enough about these blog nominations to get me arrested. But I prefer stringing together a top five.

Top Five Rules For This Nominee

1- Mention the person who nominated you. That’s cake.
2- Do not mention Charlie Sheen. Oops . . . dammit! See what I’m saying about rules?
3- Go heavy on humor to hide fact you’re too lazy to read rules.
4- Promise not to make any more football predictions. Ever.
5- Nominate others.

If you have any questions or comments about this list, feel free to email me at caymanthorn@yahoo.com.  If you have any criticisms, email John Boehner.

Guat? She’s a So Cal chica whose stories are liquid photographs. She comes from good people and she wakes up every morning to the idea that today is gonna be her day to rock the world. On those days when the world tries punking her, she gifts herself some chocolate for the religious purpose. And inside the times when she gifts us the struggles and successes, we’re the better for having glimpsed her untethered moments.

My only critique on LA’s finest, is that she tends to forget how cool it is to have the Pacific Ocean for a backyard. At least, this Northeastern boy thinks it is. But she never forgets how cool it is to be on the J-O-B as mom. She’s a damned good one, if you ask me. And since this is MY acceptance speech, you can.

Now . . I’m gonna nominate as many peeps as I please. I’m not sure how long this might take, so grab a beer and put your feet up. Hopefully, you do that every time you read this blog.

Here then . . my nominees, and why I read them.

Susie Lindau– She’s a ‘wild ride’ of pictures and great stories
Guapola– To catch his wave of great writing and killer tunes
Adventures of a Dog Mom– She’s got an inner foodie thing happening
aFrank Angle– His travels and his cartoon love.
Fantasy Furnace– He’s one half of my sports guy tandem
Steven Jeffries– He’s the other half
Simone Benedict– For introducing me to Deadeye
4am Writer– This New Englandah is a wicked good writah
Petal Pusher– For Zen captures and good karma quotes
Khamillion– She’s got style, humor and smarts. Brent Musburger can tell ya, Auburn girls rock
Veronica: Pajama Thief– Short or long, she delivers velvety goodness
Break It Down Pete– For his tell it like it is’ness
Katrina Perkins– So’s I can say ‘I knew her when . .’

Thank you for attending the 1st annual “Greatest Blog in the History of Blogs thanks to Our Father who art in Tennessee, Al Gore” . . . and we’ll see you next year!

Yanno, all kidding aside, I probably should copyright that blog award.

Anyways, thanks for humoring me once again. But even more than that, thanks for taking the time to read up on my place. You are all much appreciated for the wit, wisdom and fun you bring to me whenever I put up my feet and roam.

As for you . . . Guat, thanks for the laughs, the poignant moments, the inspirational quotes and the momentary lapses of reason that always happen inside that place called parenthood. I probably told you this already, but I do believe it bears repeating.

He would be proud.

Hey . . . this is what I think of ‘yall . . . (Why am I still speaking Alabamanese?)

 

If you’re going to wish upon a star, bring friends

Mark Twain once wrote, that partaking of a McRib sandwich is akin to eating shoe leather cause you’ve got a hankering for salt. Okay, he didn’t write that. But he might have if he was living inside the age of the Big Gulp.

That was my opening salvo in a McRib post I was writing a couple nights ago, before rushing my mother into the ER. She was experiencing the onset of a stroke, but by the grace of the Cosmos bookkeeper, we got it in time.

Time is the most valuable commodity we have in our everyday lives, and it’s platinum squared when it comes to strokes. But for my mother calling me up rather than sleeping on it the other night, may have been the difference between driving her home from Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia yesterday evening. And not.

There are a bunch of instances where the better safe than sorry theorem ain’t worth abiding by. Stuff like skiing, Vegas, story arcs, Martinis or falling in love. But when it comes to heeding the warning signs of a possible stroke, there’s no room, or time, for chance.

I don’t want to leave you hanging on my McRib review, so here’s the unabridged version: It sucked. Funny thing too, since the McDonald’s website lists 101 reasons why you should eat a McRib. As far as truth in advertising is concerned, it’s a big fat fib slathered in barbecue sauce. A fatter fib than Jay Z’s 99 problems, even.

It’s my fault, really. Since my culinary sojourns over this bachelor’s holiday consisted of extra strength coffee, bucco sandwich experiments and date night with the golden arches.

Anyways, maybe it was a bad year for indeterminate meat products, I don’t know. All I know is that I went from super sizing my meaty outrage to a super sigh of relief over how these past few days have played out. And I wanted to say thank you, to everyone reading this on the other end of the line.

My post “Good Thoughts” came from something my mother said to me. She simply asked me to keep good thoughts, and since I wasn’t ready to share with those who were within my arm’s reach at that particular moment in time, I came to a place I knew I could count on every bit as much.

In a world full of crazy, it’s nice to have a place like that.

Addictive Blog Award Acceptance Speech (Mwah Rating)

The lovely and talented Guat over at The Wish Factor has nominated me for the Addictive Blog Award. I’m pretty certain the only reason she did so was to keep me from giving her shit about her LA Dodgers extended winter vacation. Okay, that was rude, even for a Yankees fan. Sorry Guat, I was rooting for your Dodgers. It’s been too long since a Dodgers-Yankees tilt in October.

But I digress. This here is about the Addictive Blog Award, and Guat. What to say about the girl who dreams in chocolate?

Plenty.

She’s a SoCal Gal with a chef’s flair for marrying flavors together in her blog posts. She owns spunk, brings the funk and takes absolutely no junk, from anybody. She’s the orange and yellow spiked hues that crank up your starkly ‘same old daily planner. The smiles she provokes linger, the dreams she shares possess hold and the words she bungee jumps off of (literally and figuratively) are creamy catapults into sublimity. And the best part of it? She nominated me for an Addictive Blog award, when it rightly should be the other way around. That’s coolness, squared.

Since this award is about all things addictive, I thought I would share a few of my every day addictions with you just for kicks.

Chris Nolan Flicks . . . The Miami Dolphins . . . Zombies . . . Clark Shoes . . . Irish Girls . . . Running . . . Kissing  . . . Mangoes . . . Tennis . . . October Baseball . . . Iced Coffee . . . Hot and Sour Soup . . . Peppermint Altoids . . . Black Cats  . . . York Peppermint Patties . . .  Documentaries . . .

And as per the quid to the pro, here are a few peeps I find pretty addictive, and who I’ma nominatin’ . . .

Fantasy Furnace and Steven Jefferies– Forget the 4-Letter Network. These guys do sports right.
Susie Lindau– A literary Rocky Mountain high.
Guapola– Good men are easy to find if you’re reading here.
Adventures of a Dog Mom– She’s a dog person with an inner foodie going on.
Rowland Jones– I think we’re related. I’m the better looking one, but don’t tell him that.
Katrina Perkins– When she goes A-list, I figure, I can call in this favor? Hmmm.
Veronica: The Pajama Thief– The name alone should lure you in. But her word of the day is what gets me.

So . . . Miss Guat of Wish Factor fame, thank you for being a rock star on my concert schedule. You had me at “I’m a Pat Riley fan . .”, but you didn’t stop there. It’s not in your DNA to stop, ever. And that comes from the man you often post on, su padre. To which I can only say, I hope my little girl grows up to be just like you.

Mwah.

Stealing The Outside

I met an old friend for drinks with the intention of granting last rites to the St. Patrick’s holiday. Two and a half weeks late as it is. Still plenty cool ,since death never goes out of style with the Irish in general or St. Patrick in particular.

My friend and me have tended to this last train production for a few years running now. Our choice has but one requisite-The watering hole must run antithetical to the rolling green ‘o Henry of snake driven lore. The must of less musty variant is what I’m saying.

And so, the proper burial was dressed . . in haute.

There was a round table of young professionals, so enthralled by their respective mobile devices that we could have piggybacked their murderous check with scant detection. At the far corner sat a handsome young couple with hands woven in blissful promise and lips in serious negotiations on picket fence. The bar was anchored by a trio of middle aged fellows who segued through sloppy ministrations, plunging in to the catty stock market and then college ball and finally to a guy named Michaels whom they all agreed was a putz of a team leader.

My friend was intent on following my lead tonight. And so it was.  Vodka martinis drawn up straight with bleu cheese stuffed olives swimming on a downstream buzz. The joint we chose makes an honest martini. Old school specs have suffered inside the proliferation of the Martini Bar, which is what happens when you apply a Baskin Robbins methodology to a standard classic.

Martini Tip: Over sized vessels filled to the brim are a must. Don’t go for those half pint misfits with the cute little carafe on the side. This is a discounted version of the real thing, an imposter whose gilded apparatus seeds a perception that you’re receiving more when the opposite is true.

“A toast” I said, raising my glass. “To marriage . . and its inherent ability to spread blame equally.”

“Says you.” Came her tart reply.

Marriage is looking good on her, and I said so.

“Thanks, yeah . . . I’m thinking the second time was the charm.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” I replied. Unions which require mental erasers, joint accounts and theological warranties don’t do a thing for me any longer. I’m inspired by married people the way I’m inspired by Rocky movies- briefly and with little regard for serious consideration beyond the credits.

But she’s an old friend, and I love seeing her this way; happy, truly so. To my way of thinking, old friends are life credits. If you’re blessed with even one, you’re gold star abundant.

We’ve navigated life and death, growing up and growing older, amazing moments and the darkest of days. Together, as friends.

In what seems like another lifetime ago and more now, we had a thing. It was a ski weekend in Vermont, and we were silly enough kids back then for such an extravagance. Mind you, there had been no prelude to such an idea leading up to the main event. But hell, once the drinks started paying off, natural conclusions made sense enough and more.

But for the silly thing of Monday happening, it might have been a happily ever after.

Once the sex is written into a relationship, well . . . the Holy Bible never got that one completely kitchened off, so I’m not about to bother myself with an apron on the topic. But yanno, it’s heady stuff. More complicated than David Lynch’s cerebrum at rush hour. Which is why I never trusted nor adhered to the idea of “Friends with Benefits”. Because, take it from a guy who knows better? The literal of naked friendly is a buy or sell thing, wholly speaking.

We talked for hours. Rummaging through the old times and laughing about the new. Unapologetic, irreverent and lovely. Tilling the fat soil the of in between with nary a twitch. Loving each other still and completely and always, in that platonic varietal that keeps the world ticking without need for a nuclear response.

Life is a crazy place, indeed.

All you need is . . .

My girlfriend and I were talking the other night and I was bitching. Up against it, work related stuff. It was a no matter proposition, excepting for mine. And that’s when she hit me with it.

“If you had a group of people gathered in a circle, and you tossed all your troubles into a hat together. You know whose troubles you’d want to snatch from that hat? Yours.”

Truer stuff has never, ever been told in a better way. And that’s why I love this girl the way I love her. Because she imparts that kind of thing on me- daily basis wise- even when I’m not listening as much as I should be. And as an aside, she’s funnier than I could ever be. More beautiful too.

I’ve had a few trying times in my day, to be certain. But it was this knowledge inside a mid-week’s saunter that helped bring me back to a few of those below sea level moments. Lessons have a way of doing such a thing. She’s a teacher, so it kinda figures.

I tripped with her. Back to times far worse.

There was that far side of logical understandings back in high school, when I found myself sitting in front of a grand jury. Here I was, a New York punk, surrounded by mean sweated suits and vagabond eyes with boiler plated templates attached to their scratch pads. I remember feeling not quite so tough or certain of anything at all in those moments. And to the make of matters, my parents had their livelihoods happening, so it was just me showing up to this hard ass spotlight. All alone, and shit if that wasn’t scary. It was a good lesson I really didn’t deserve to understand as well as I ended up understanding it.

But I moved from that.

And then there was the time I went flat broke. Ready to file the Chapter and Verse. That was a cringe. A shudder. There was an ebullient Ugh which was clinging tight to the horror of not being able to pay the next month’s bills in proper.

It seemed the worst problem at the time.

Until I was hit with the news by my doctor several years later. I’d had a series of tests conducted. All straightforward, a progress ho kind of advancement that had me up to speed on People magazine and the Listerine smiles of nurses and the small and nervous placement of chatter in one too many waiting rooms.

Cancer.

Oh shit. If that wasn’t the one word I had not been ready for? Then nothing else in Mother Mary’s world ever was gonna be. Every single trouble up to that point was never going to matter as much. Ever. Again.

Eleven years to the day next week. Cancer free.

So my bitching this week gained its perspective. Thanks to my love. And this evening’s worth of laughter and song I’ve been gaining with her. And those very best thoughts borne out of her peaceful dandelion world. Where the only thing that matters more than anything else in the whole wide world is . . .

Love.

(Leave it to Ray to finish it up. Brilliant man that he is, I’m only glad my girl met up with me first.)

High Resolutions

No diets- I liken diets to running a marathon on a fire escape. It’s unsustainable because it’s unrealistic. I deny myself no food, because when you deny, you deify (Now THAT would be a good first chapter to my common sense lifetime diet plan). I eat anything while practicing the one word that often goes overlooked in our caloric extremism: Moderation.

Swear more (Okay, as much)- Colorfully, smartly and in context. I’m not the kind of person who swears in front of kids or mixed company; that’s just plain disrespectful. Swearing is an art form that must be utilized with a certain degree of sophistication, and it just so happens to have cathartic value with me. For those people who disagree with my assertion? &$%# ’em.

Watch more TV- I’ve come late to the Mad Men party and I’m playing catch up. And I was gifted Boardwalk Empire and Dexter so I have all that to look forward to. Not to mention, Walking Dead is coming back soon. Lots more TV time for yours truly.

Be more judgmental This sounds rash on the face of it. But if I had been more judicious on this count in ’11, I wouldn’t be mired in a dysfunctional relationship with Netflix, or toting around a Barnes and Noble club card that I never talk to anymore, and what was I thinking when I said ‘I do’ to Costco? Judge not, waste much.

Meditation Every day. The nourishment of a daily regimen does more for the mind/body/spirit than overpriced supplements and empty caloried self help books ever could.

Do good things that go unnoticed– We’re human. We crave recognition. But when you do something that goes under everyone’s radar but your own, you’re performing that oldest of adages- God’s work.

All about me” time- Building a relationship with myself was one of the best things I ever did. I know, it sounds so obvious a thing. But up until a couple years ago, I had never taken the time to do it. I had always been so invested in business relationships, friendships and romances that I never took the time to enjoy my own company. It changes everything.

Overcome my fear of heights- I’m not sure what the vehicle will be, although I have a few ideas at the ready. I’m gonna start with Mission Impossible at an IMAX and move from there.

Love- It’s a resolution that always gives back.

A New Years list of thank you

What? It’s time already?

Wow. 2011 seemed to get lost quicker than an IRA entrusted to the tender loving care of Bernie Madoff. Anyways, here are a few of the things I’m thankful for. I know, that’s Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I posted one of these back then . . .

I’m thankful that the NBA is back. I’ve been a fan ever since I saw Magic Johnson at the Garden. I’m thankful for baseball and its unscripted magnificence. All’s I know is if I would’ve written Game 6 of last year’s World Series as fiction, I would’ve been laughed out of any office with a fat nameplate.

I’m thankful for shooting stars . . and delicious kisses . . and a Martini done up just the way I like it . . and Altoids . . and a perfect cup of coffee . . and naps with the cat . . and a book that’s almost finished . . and comfortable shoes . . and road trips with the kids to anywhere . . and sitting down to an episode of Mad Men . . and good walks . . and movie dates . . and a fantastic meal with family . . and the laughing that can’t help itself . . and love.

On the blog front . . .

I’m thankful to Break it Down Pete for, well, breaking it down in the most real of ways . .  I’m thankful to Carmen’s Atlanta for gifting her readers with the eyes of a young woman ready to take on the world . . I’m thankful to be on the band wagon with I’m on the Bandwagon . . I’m thankful for the amazing captures over at Internal Solitude of the Restless Mind . . I’m thankful for the reminders of just how colorful this world is that are there for the getting at Khamillion . . I’m thankful for the peaceful blanket of words I wrap myself in over at Kvennarad . . I’m thankful for the thought provoking walks in the woods I take at Omphalos Cafe . . I’m thankful for Sara no H and her fantastic family circle of thoughts . . I’m thankful for Simone Benedict, and I hope she comes back soon . . I’m thankful for Movie Blog 8 and his well beyond his years take on cinema . .

And then there’s Rowland Jones and his mercurial moleskin. I’m thankful for your posts and your sketches and your music. And as for Petal Pusher, I’m thankful for your stories and I’m thankful for your magical eye and the brilliant captures it produces.

I’m thankful that I get to read your takes on the world. I’m even more thankful I get to call you my friend.