May 232011

…Make lemonade.

An old adage that I think we could all stand to think about from time to time.

This has been a rough spell.  The past…I don’t know how long…has been chock full of low lows and a few tippy top highs.  I don’t know too many mates who said they had a good 2010.  I think for many 2011 has begun just as staggeringly…unappetizing.  Perhaps it is mostly to do with the station in life we find ourselves in (many of us in the same-ish age group)…or this ongoing economic turmoil…or the consistently pressurized and ‘always-on-a-deadline’ work thing.  Who knows.

I do know however that I’ve been thinking long and hard of late.  I think it was Jay who was sitting out back with me over a nice old whisky a few nights back when I said ‘sometimes things aren’t so bad, huh?’.

I think we lose sight of the forest for the trees sometimes.  All the shit that comes before, usually leads to green grass later.  The ‘now’ fertilizes the ‘later’, if you get my drift and excuse the poor metaphor.

At the end of the day, I come home to my beautiful children and sexy wife.  We eat well (and almost always together around the table).  The kids settle fairly well and occasionally early.  Evenings often involve a mate or two out back with a fine dram in hand…or a night curled up with my bride on the couch.  The weekends…usually both.  At least once a month I meet with most of my pals for Liquorature.  We act like men.  We’re rude…crude…loud and obnoxious.  We’re also literate…intelligent…driven and charming.  That’s why Liquorature works.  And it is my salvation.  My escape from the here and now of mundanity (is that a word?) The rest of my existence is peppered with good music (by my standards anyway), good movies, good coffee and a lot of freedom.

All’s I’m sayin’s this…

Chances are, for somebody else out, there your worst day could be their best day.  None of us have it too rough.

So finally…cheers to all o’ you f*ckers who make my life good.  You are appreciated.  If you’re ever having a miserable day, gimme a call and I’ll pour you a drink and sip the sun down with ya.  Promise.

In the words of Shannon Hoon (who is sorely, sadly missed):

“As we all play parts of tomorrow

Some ways will work and other ways we’ll play

But I know we can’t all stay here forever

So I want to write my words on the face of today.”


 Posted by at 5:49 pm
Nov 092010

We are surrounded at all times, in the western world, by TV, consumer culture, phones, ipods, the internet (the irony does not escape me), and people. We eat in crowded “food courts” in malls that all look the same, and we lose contact with our families due to pressure of work.  We labour for The Man in cubicles, not offices, and upward mobility is a joke. On the smaller end of the spectrum, we are sold on pizza, buffalo wings, boneless chicken, Valentine’s day, summer holidays, Christmas, Halloween, this year’s car models and toys our kids scream for us to buy. We think wines, single malt scotches and premium liquors of all kinds are the ultimate expression of subtlelty in the tasting arts.

Many of us think that much of this is a lot of hoopla, but I daresay we don’t really delve too deeply into the matter, except occasionally, in our cups.  So I’m throwing this out there: what are the ten most overrated and over-hyped (but underperforming don’t-live-up-to-their-promise) things in our world, in your opinion?

 Posted by at 8:51 am
Aug 052010

You are a sad sack of zero erudition or achievement: the cat hisses on your return home, and toilets don’t flush for you; if you were a fire hydrant, even the mutts would ignore you. Your pay scale is constantly reworked downwards, and the village idiot gets promoted faster. The family constantly finds ways to have dinner, go out or head off on vacation without you. Years of being browbeaten by your boss, your wife and your kids has left you a neurotic mass of twitching nerves heading nowhere quickly.

You start feeling strange pains that are unrelated to the sums of money everyone keeps asking you for, or the indigestion their cooking inevitably engenders. When – after six months of making appointments – you finally get to see the specialist, he mentions rather offhandedly – while perusing his morning mail – that you have one year to live (and then takes a call from his golf pro).

You return home, ignore the cat, kick the mutt, shout at the family, then lock yourself up in the Harry Potter style broom closet that is now your personal study, and contemplate the negative space your totally insignificant and useless life has become.  After considering that maybe the Great Hereafter might be a trade-up, you get that mulish obstinate look in your eye very remniscient of the aforementioned promotable idiot as he is passing gas (usually in your cubicle), and something happens.

A light grows in your eye, music (and your bony chest) swells, nostrils flare, you stand up straight for the first time in decades (immediately wincing and grabbing your spleen), and make a vow that life will not beat you.  You make a solemn oath to the effect that there are ten things you intend to do, no matter how crazy or unlike your normal character’s modus operandi, before you croak and get planted (cremated actually, and your ashes fertilize the apple tree – it costs a few grand less).

You sit down, clutch pad and paper, rest it on the bony and arthritic knees which are drawn up to your chest, and start to write the Ultimate Bucket List…..

Start your engines, gentlemen, and let’s have your submissions of the ten things you really want to do before you die.  Quickly, now….it could be tomorrow, and I want to know if any of your list items concern me.