It’s been a “bit of a day” as Lin Manuel would say. I spent my morning revisiting a time in life several years ago that I would prefer to leave in the rearview mirror. I don’t want to forget, it was definitely a learning experience. It was also a tough time and expensive lesson about trusting your gut and being careful who you put your faith in, despite what the “pro’s” are telling you. Mark Twain was right about good judgement coming from experience which usually comes from bad judgement. Going back over all that brought up the bitterness and resentment I figured was behind me. Still it’s a gorgeous day outside and I’m not gonna let it keep me down. So in the spirit of keeping the bitter stuff out of your life and in your glass, won’t you please join me as we stand and make Eeyore’s Requiem.
There is nothing wrong with taking the easy way out, as long as you are honest about it. That’s what I am doing tonight. My school teachers probably would not believe it, but I actually used my time wisely today. One could argue that I did not plan well enough, but the time that got away from me today was well wasted. So, in the spirit of taking the time to enjoy the time you have won’t you join me as we stand and make the Montenegroni.
How much poetry do you get in your daily life? Seriously. Do you get the chance to read much poetry these days? Do you thrill to the imagined sound of the words flowing from the page when you see those rhyming couplets inset from the text or do you just sort of naturally gloss over those passages to get back to the meat of the narrative? I claim to enjoy poetry and will often take a few moments to read a bit, not everyday, but a couple of times a week. Not as much as I probably should, but I figure fewer than some and more than most. I can’t take too much at one sitting though. Not sure why. I can read non-fiction or novels for hours on end, but a quarter hour of poetry and I am mostly done in. Tonight is Robert Burn’s Night, a celebration of the National Bard of Scotland, so with him in mind, won’t you join me as we stan’ and ma’e, the Bobby Burns.
I’m a big fan of consistency. Not the “foolish” consistency that Emerson called “the hobgoblin of little minds”, but deep and considered consistency. That certain quality that lets you know people truly believe what they are saying, that they have taken the time to study and reflect and come to a belief on their own, rather than just accepting the ones they were handed. An appreciation of those beliefs formed in knowledge, the kind that is, so often, tempered by loss. You can tell with people, when you look them in the eye, whether they believe what they are saying, whether their words have the weight of conviction behind them. Not passion, that is easy to summon when the situation warrants, but that slow burning conviction that drives a person even when no one is watching. So with depth of character and integrity in mind, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the New Dawn.
This morning I was looking through some old photographs of our time in Havana. That sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Way better than “I was scrolling through pictures on my phone looking for something else, when I was distracted by some old vacation pictures.” It’s all in how you set the scene sometimes, how you spin it. Still, it is true and it made me think about this drink. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the classic, La Florida.
I am blessed with four wonderful niblings, two nieces and nephews. My brothers kids all predated Liam, so Laura and I got to make a practice run at parenthood with them. When they were little we drug all three of them, in their time, all over the place with us. Actually when Laura and I met, she thought that Mason might be my kid, since we spent so much time together. When the time came for us to have our own live-in offspring, Mason, Tori and Andrew all stepped up to help us out. A year after Liam came along Laura’s brother and wife introduced us to Annelise, my littlest niece, who I also adore and wish I got to see more often. The point is I love being an uncle and I am damned good at it. Don’t believe me? It’s true, ask around. That said, I try to set a good example for the younglings, while still being honest with them, shooting straight and admitting my many shortcomings. So, in that spirit, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Drunk Uncle.
Tonight, I am thinking of a Christmas gift from long ago. In college, a dear friend gave me a book of poetry inscribed with one of her poems and the most lovely message. I have been carrying it around for nearly thirty years and it is in surprisingly good shape for the miles. Not sure I can say the same for myself. So, in honor of the gift and the impulse that inspires the giver please join me now as we stand and make, the Poet’s Dream.
I’m not well and not feeling up to this tonight so it’s bare bones. I’m not getting any points for style, so hopefully the effort counts for something. I’ll appreciate your forbearance if you’ll join me now as we stand and make the Abstract Speed and Sound.
“There’s nothing to it, lad. Just write down some words till you’ve said it all. Easiest thing in the world” he said as he looked out into the coming storm. “I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. You know what happened, right?” I nodded in agreement. “Then just tell them the thing, like it happened, maybe add a bit here and there for the spice of it.” It sounded so simple. Of course, it did, things always sound easy, but the doing part was harder. He must’ve seen the doubt in my eyes. “Just start out at the beginning, anything to get them going. Look out that window”. “’Twas a dark and stormy night,” he bellowed ”that’s always a good one. Doesn’t matter if it was dark or stormy, you just need to set the tone. To let them know that a story has begun and it’s time to pay attention; and don’t let the truth of the thing get in the way of a good story. The telling, that’s what matters.” I sighed to myself, took my place behind the bar and in a voice as clear as a bell I called out. “Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the classic Tipperary.”
The best of wives made homemade lasagna this afternoon. This is important because it is imperative that you understand the difficulties of trying to write through a food induced coma. Dinner was so good, but it doesn’t make you clever, it makes you sleepy. If you can stay awake, please join me now as we stand and make the Little Italy.