An All Day Affair

As the saying goes, ‘you can’t drink all day, if you don’t start in the morning.’

Brittany and I put in an epic day-drinking game plan on Super Bowl Sunday. Super bowl was completely incidental. We started at 9:00am at Fado to watch rugby. Then headed downtown to the Pearl for an excellent brunch. We had NOLA style charbroiled oysters for a starter. Brittany had a gourmet grilled cheese and I had hangar steak with eggs and skillet cornbread. My meal came with the cutest little 7-oz Miller High Life you’ve ever seen. A single gulp of beer really, but beautifully presented.

Next we headed across the street and wound up doing a pub crawl for about 5 hours. Brittany took a short break to make a serious dent in Anthropologie stock. We wound up watching the first half of the game at Bernard’s Tavern which was crazy busy. 

In my last post, I included a picture of a  road sign of Major Taylor Boulevard but offered no explanation. This was in Worcester, Mass.

I recently finished reading ‘The World’s Fastest Man’. This is the story of Major Taylor. An amazing man and athlete who from around 1895 to 1915 dominated bicycle racing in the US, Europe, and Australia. And he was black. He won the titles by winning more races and obtaining more points than other racers, even though he was not allowed to compete in some events because of his race. Also, when he did race against white cyclists, they very often ganged up on him to box him in or even try to make him crash to keep him from winning. He overcame exceptional odds to win race after race, year after year, championship after championship, here and abroad. Good story and a good read. He lived most of his adult live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where I am working, and where I happened to notice that sign last week as I was leaving for the airport. 

Had I not read that book, that sign would have meant nothing to me.

I am now reading ‘My Soul Looks Back’ by Jessica B. Harris. It is a delight. Wonderfully written with abundant language and vivid descriptions of a rich and interesting life. I’m at the beginning, but already intrigued and enjoying it.

In 2002, I cancelled my cable contract and went TV-less. For years, I read in place of TV, building on the habits I formed as a child when I developed a passion for isolating myself and reading for hours on end. I had the sort of imagination that was easily tempted and fueled by adventure stories. In 2002 I finally noticed how much cable and tv had cut into my reading time so I took action.

Then, staring about 8 or 9 years ago, I started watching Netflix or Amazon Prime during the week instead of renting movies only on weekends as I had done in the Blockbuster era. The streaming services crept in and once again stole my reading time.

So last month I started intentionally staying off the streaming services during the week and I am now delightfully re-engaged with books morning and evenings and sometimes at lunch. 

So my reading game is back on point. Which feels more like me.

Weeks are busy now. Very busy. But the team is productive and mostly clicking. So that is good. Early indications are that this will be a good project. If we gotta work, it might as well be tolerable and pay decently.

Weekends? Also fully booked up. Sort of overbooked at the moment. This weekend I have to finish up my kitchen design for Black Dog Ridge but also finish the kitchen layout for Java 13. I also have to update expense projections for 3 years for the bank business plan—a completely meaningless exercise but one of the hoops that must be jumped through. I also need a final equipment list and depreciation schedule. 

So…..what to say. Life is full at the moment. No moss will be growing under these shoes. But some fun woven into the fabric of day-2-day living. Movement and energy. It’s my lifeblood. I’m sort of on a slight bi-polar high at the moment, so I need to capture that energy while it’s available. If I’m lucky I’ll slowly slide down the other side of the sin wave while we are in Amsterdam—where I can relax with long walks through the city and many coffee breaks at the cafes. And lunches with wine and reading and people-watching. A day or two of Cuban Cigars at The Grand Sofitel courtyard or the big cigar shop downtown. And a Friday night at the Royal Hotel.

We can take Bear for walks while Sjoerd and Onah are working. Get our dog fix in. In the evenings Onah will cook her amazing meals or we will go out now and again. I think we will go to Cologne for a few days as well. Still sorting through the agenda a bit. Maybe a trip through the Van Gogh museum since Brit’s not been.

I love the picture of Bear below. Sjoerd takes him to the pet store where he always gets a treat or two. On this day the pet store was closed but Bear refused to leave just as he refused to accept that a pet store would ever be closed.

Our goal is to open Java 13 in June. So of course that will continue to consume time. And Black Dog Ridge is meant to be finished around June too. It seems the choices I have taken are meant to keep me on my toes. First-half of 2022 is definitely structural. But think of the times we will have when BDR is done and the shop is open and on an even keel. So it will all be worth it. And we find ways to make some happiness along the way. 

So that is the next 5 or 6 weeks. Jazzfest and Missoula Maggotfest will be sacrificed this year. So maybe next year. 

No complaints and no regrets. Of course I gotta keep the money coming in to pay for it all. But hell, money comes and it goes. 

Brittany won an award from Abbot for the diversity program she implemented and manages along with a colleague. That girl is going places. 

Watching 6 Nations Rugby each weekend has been great. Rugby is about 70% white players, but the sport is taking strong proactive steps to create awareness about racism and to be as inclusive as possible. NFL is 75% black and is constantly embroiled in lawsuits and controversy over their tacit acceptance and even encouragement of racists practices. I’ll take rugby.

Besides, it’s truly the greatest fucking sport ever, so why bother with anything else. 

My young and troubled nephew had gone missing but has turned up safely. Thankfully. But questions unanswered remain.So hopefully he can confront the truth and understand how he wound up back in the hospital and yet another encounter with the law. He’s got a good heart, but definitely is struggling to find a path of peace in this world. So we all worry for him. But we don’t know how to help.

Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.

Norman Maclean

So we watch and hope and pray and feel helpless.

No other news of note.

Humbly submitted

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