‘We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us’
For years I have threatened to start a blog. Actually, the last time I got serious enough to start the process, I was working in Japan circa 2004. I had been writing and posting daily while living in Namibia and so the habit had formed. But I pulled back. There is a certain vanity in writing publicly and so I talked myself out it.
I kept writing of course. Observations; thoughts; dreams; an occasional little story–but I just took the public option off the table.
Now, I find myself in Tokyo once again and thinking about blogs.
In that time, social media companies have risen to glorious heights. I find the platforms a great place to find someone I have lost track of, or to share a bit of news, or read about someone else’s exploits. But the content has also largely deteriorated to thoughtless and angry rhetoric. For every thoughtful or funny post, there are dozens that are foolish nonsense. I try not to judge. I do. But my god, who knew the breadth and depth of our collective ignorance?
And now, as I think once again about going public, I think of all those hundreds of stories of adventure and travel and friends and women, wine, and whisky, that are now in my past and that will never find space on these pages. And it’s easy to think, what’s the point? And the point of course is that we live today and generally look ahead, not behind. Those memories are encoded somewhere deep within and have shaped us; but challenges remain. And fun and joy and adventure and spirited outings and long, beautiful meals enhanced by discourse and spirited conversation with those we love and those we will embrace and grow to love. And so it seems worthwhile to start anew.
So this is my attempt to start my own little social media platform. Selectively populated with like-minded people who I have grown to know and love. People who have thoughtful opinions about matters great and small. And I think this is a lot about food and drinks—and recalling those animated conversations we had while sharing a great meal.
Blogs can easy enough be a one-way distribution of information. But I am earnestly hopeful that this becomes an invitation for conversation. The site is open for comments and I hope many others feel inspired to participate.
Most of us are doing our best to live a robust and meaningful life, and to enjoy the journey. This is an attempt to coax out those experiences we find most meaningful, or enjoyable, or interesting, or funny, or poignant. The types of stories that need to be shared.
Considering this journey is starting in 2018, when I am already 55 years old, there will of course be thousands of days and hundreds of adventures not put down here. I will slowly, over time, go back and re-create what makes sense and slot it into the correct chronology. So this will be a fluid medium– with forward evolution of new adventures and re-creating times past.
In my family, we take food seriously. We talk about it constantly. On any given weekend night, you will find a good amount of our gang in someone’s kitchen. Meals are rarely ever less than 4 or 5 courses and often go to double digits. Everyone contributes. We drink, laugh, sing, share stories, tell jokes, poke fun at one another–all while cooking. So food will be a constant theme.
Surely it will become a travelogue as well. We are largely a nomadic bunch and when we are on the move, shit happens. Again, a good place to share those stories and photographs.
And of course, martini’s, cocktails, beer and wine.
Why Friday Night Martini’s????
Many years ago, while living in Chicago’s west loop, I developed a fondness for martinis.
To be more specific, it was a Martini on Friday night at one of Chicago’s amazing steakhouses. I convinced myself that after a week of back-breaking work in front of a computer, that I deserved a couple of martinis and a fat steak at an overpriced dark paneled bar. So a tradition was born. This is what happens when you don’t date much—we turn to food and cocktails. I have nurtured that tradition and carried it with me all over the world.
I have had FNM’s in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, the majority of European countries, and in North America from Florida to Alaska and Maine to Tijuana. Too many places to mention or recollect accurately. Often alone, as I am somewhat of a lone wolf, but other times with family or friends. I’ve had FNM’s in boats, trains, airplanes, African safari camps overlooking the savanna, homes of family and friends, hot tubs, rustic mountaintop cabins, ski lodges, in front of a fire while camping, in a natural hot springs deep in the mountains of Idaho, and of course a great many restaurants.
Last year I reached a record of sorts–46 weeks in a row of having a FRM. Once, on a camping trip with just me and Mandela, I found I had no martini glass. So I had to reach out to a team of professionals for a ruling on whether or not a glass of vodka with an olive qualifies as a martini. The panel responded affirmatively and the streak continued.
More recently, for no good reason at all, I have taken to sending out photographs of my Friday night excursions to family and friends who rightfully find it odd and probably a bit daft. But they have indulged me.
So this forum makes that practice a little less intrusive and puts the burden on them to come have a look if they are interested.