Thursday, March 31, 2016


When push comes to shove
Is anything really all that convenient
nowadays? In theory technology is
ready, willing, and waiting to serve
our every need. Yet working through
it's convoluted steps and processes
seems in the end more cumbersome
than the good old fashioned way. Have
I become a confirmed curmudgeon or
is is it time to realize that there is NO
easy way to get anything done? Try as
I might, the older I get the harder life
gets. And frankly, I don't think that's
my fault. Where did we go wrong?!
Reservations required
Case in point - air travel. In days gone
by one dialed or visited a travel agent
who took care of everything. If options
were required, they laid them out while
explaining the differences. Hence it
was easy to make an informed decision
given an "expert" had gathered the data
and made a recommendation. Today we
must navigate cumbersome airline and
consolidated travel websites in order
to figure out for ourselves where and
when. Running the risk of ending up
in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Time traveler
Having done exactly that for the last
ninety minutes, I was just about to
complete my transaction when I was
kicked out due to exceeding my time
limit. And so... I had to start OVER.
What's so damned convenient about
that?! The same applies to hotels. In
the old days one asked an expert what
was the best place in town or chose
based on budget and availability. Now
we wade through thousands of traveler
reviews and photos for validation that
our choice is the right one. Really?!
Out of order
What concerns me is that such a shift
against historical precedence has now
usurped other's abilities to earn a decent
living. More important, the burden is
now upon our shoulders which means
we're now doing their job. And I don't
know about you but I never set out to
become an internet jack of all trades.
At least in theory an expert is exactly
that. Someone who knows what he/she
is doing. And while I think I'm a fairly
intelligent guy - I'm not foolish enough
to assume that I know it all. Do you?!
Waiting room
For this weary traveler, part of my angst
is that I simply don't have the time nor
patience. Therefore by the time I scroll
past all of the fine print to those boxes
that indemnify any corporate entity of
any responsibility - I'm more than done.
Meaning that I have no idea what I have
or have not agreed to. At that point the
tedium of going through the motions has
driven me to the point of surrender. After
all, all I wanted was to get from here to
there. So why must I be put through such
an arduous process to do just that?!
Self service
There has to be an easier way. Yet frankly
I'm not sure any such "get out of jail card"
still exists. To my knowledge a few travel
agents remain in business here in town.
Therefore they're ready and willing to help.
I simply have to shift out of do-it-yourself
mode back to the land of a service culture.
Sadly, few facilitators of convenience still
exist here in America. Exactly when did
you last have groceries delivered? Or had
a doctor make a house call? Today it's all
about them - and absolutely NOT us. So
is it safe to assume we're out of service?
Limited availability
I'm all for quality of life. However one
can't help but long for the times when
living was more civilized. Having an
on-line "concierge" based in Mumbai
is not the same as having a neighbor
you know and trust giving you exactly
what you want. What's most lacking is
a sense of discovery. Today it's quite
easy to purchase black pants at any
price on-line. But sifting through the
digital debris to find something you
never knew you needed is virtually
impossible. What are we missing?
Missing in action
In our efforts to continuously check off
our lists we may have circumvented any
chance of discovering a better alternative.
While the fluidity of on-line transactions
continues to get faster than ever, I can't
help but wonder if we're all missing out
on something more. Imagine returning
to a time and place where someone just
might have a better answer?  Sadly the
only way we have to discern whether
said nirvana exists is to Google "dreams."
There one may discover the missing link.
Or have we truly and finally... LOST IT?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Night train
These last few nights I've tossed and
turned. When not astir, I've laid in
what can only be termed a daze. And
when I finally settled down - my dear
one was serenaded by a cacophony of
snorts, snores, and guttural gasps. All
such histrionics aside, my brain was
quietly churning at a rate of a million
miles a minute. Thus I've horizontally
traveled to places and done things that
I truly haven't thought of in eons. All
within the realm of my imagination.
Why can't I simply rest in peace?!

Home alone
What do you do when you can't sleep?!
Sadly a glass of warm milk doesn't cut
it for this restless soul. Invariably I take
a journey back in time via eyes wide shut.
I don't really know what to call this mind
game. Sans Mr. Spock I beam myself up
to someplace that I haven't been to for
years. The other evening I visited my
former home, the place I had to leave
behind when my marriage failed. Within
another plane of existence, I strolled said
space and vividly reconstructed all of it's
elements. Proof that you can go home...

Sunny side of the street
Am I crazy? Do I crave returning to
a time and place that can never be
replicated? Frankly I consider such
a mental exercise as literally that -
Calisthenics for one's brain. Probing
deep into the past requires reigniting
brain cells that haven't seen the light
of day for eons. For whatever reason
I rather enjoy such journeys. Taking
the road less traveled is beautiful as
long as one avoids the dark side. And
so, my blasts from the past are always
sun strewn glimpses of former glories.

One need not consciously delve into the
past. Instead, go with the flow. Last night
I dreamed of guiding a tour group through
Marshall Field's State Street edifice. Like
Willy Wonka - I took my followers hither
and yon through it's halls of wonder. We
relived many things that sadly no longer
exist. Upon awakening I lay basking in
the residual after glow of times past. And
suddenly, what was lost was found once
more. So in essence I was reunited with
a former love. And trust me, those were
among the best years of my life...

Sunken treasure
Do I dwell on my past? Unequivocally
NO. However looking back I've been
blessed to survive the best and worst of
times. Rather than allow my memories
to lie fallow, I see nothing wrong with
pulling them out of the darkness like
jewels hidden in a safety deposit box.
Once in awhile one must trot out their
best and  even if that's something that
happened a million years ago... so be it.
In my opinion, once you've been there,
done that, there's absolutely no reason
to not occasionally rest on one's laurels.

Round trip ticket
Life can be filled with magic. Often
that's when you met the love of your
life or triumphed on the playing field.
What's past is past. Yet that shouldn't
prohibit one from celebrating a life
well spent. Some keep photo albums.
Others gather bric-a-brac. Many keep
their memories boxed up in the attic.
Given we're an amalgam of our good
and bad times, why can't you enjoy an
occasional backward glance? I suggest
you take the tour. It's well worth the
price of admission! You've earned it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Over served?
Who doesn't have an "off" day every once
in awhile?! Whether one's situation is due
to fate, gravitational forces, or too many
martinis the night before - many of us can
at times be not quite up to snuff. There are
days when it's virtually impossible to start
the day off right. Just the other morning
I poured myself a nice hot cup of coffee.
The only problem was my mug was turned
upside down. Suddenly I was mopping up
rather than slurping down my java. And
once things go bad, it's almost impossible
to turn the day around.
When push comes to shove
I guess I'm a bit of a baby. Or possibly
too old and set in my ways. Extremes
aside, try as I might sometimes it seems
like I'm trying to swim upstream from
a tsunami that's all of my own making.
It's funny how something can set one
off on an already off day. Whether it's
a headline, e-mail, or random Facebook
comment one can capriciously go to a
really bad place for seemingly no reason
at all. However, if one digs deep enough
you're sure to find the root of whatever
button has been pushed into "on" mode.
Beware of animals
You see, deep down we're all struggling
with some sort of a dilemma. Hence if
or when somebody pokes a stick in said
cage, we're bearly able to keep our wits
about us. While one often may be unable
to understand why we're so thrown by
seemingly innocent things - the truth is
we're all guilty of burying our angst. The
problem is that much like karma - what
goes around comes around. Meaning we
can't run from our problems no matter
how we try. Especially if they're a spouse,
friend, or relative. You simply can't hide.
Hands down
I've got little to complain about. Overall
I'm fairly happy with the hand I've been
dealt. That said, I absolutely have some
skeletons in my closet. And while I long
ago ended my self imposed exile in said
storage facility, I've got as many secrets
as the next guy. Maybe that's what truly
irks me the most? Could my inability
to fully function be blamed on my past
imperfect? Exactly what's so distracting
that I'm unable to see a glass have full?
Or.. empty given in my case. Like it or
not at times my cup still runneth over?!
Hide or seek?
What are you hiding from? Is there
something or someone you've been
avoiding for a long time? If I have
learned anything over the years it's
that deferring conflict only makes it
all the worst. Much like black mold,
something evil festers while hidden
behind a positive countenance. The
problem is that while you may not
know it, said pestilence slowly makes
us sicker. Better to aggressively deal
with the problem and rid oneself of
your ills. You can't hide from reality.
Get a move on
I'm not suggesting you search for your long
lost enemies. Nor rekindle struggling with
whatever forgotten error in your ways you
already tackled. All I know that when and
if something rears it's ugly head, it's much
better to face facts than bury them under
the carpet. Ultimately said bump along the
way will trip you up so why not finish it
off here and now? Isn't it time to admit
that there's a reason why you're a bit off?
Rather than fight fate, bring it on and move
on with your life. Whatever is holding you
back, grab a hold and finish the job NOW!

Monday, March 28, 2016

"My Mother's china..."

All set?
Some of my most popular posts revolve
around table settings. There's no doubt
that I'm my Mother's son. Hence there's
little I enjoy more than the process of
creating a beautiful table. Yesterday's
Easter mid day dinner (left) involved a
variety of treasures. Therefore setting
a proper table is like a reunion of dear,
old friends. Honestly, it really doesn't
take that much time and effort. All one
has to do is be willing to try a few new
(old) tricks. So rather than be a loser -
why not slide into home plate?
The truth be told
Once aware of my compulsion for china,
many now consider me the Dear Abby
of tabletop. Hence after seeing my great
wall of china confessions start to flow.
"I still have my wedding china packed
away - I've never used it." "I think I've
used my china once or twice - I'm too
afraid to break something." "I've got my
Mother's china packed away somewhere
in the attic." Your stories go on and on.
All of which leaves me wondering -
Exactly what are you waiting for and
whatever are you eating off of now?!
Shabby chic
Frankly, there's no reason not to use it.
The fact is most of what most claim to
be a family heirloom is not worth very
much. Given the empty nesting clock
is ticking, why let others discover your
heirlooms on the shelf at Goodwill?
Today there are no rules therefore you
don't have to set the table like your
Mother did. In fact, nothing's as stylish
as robbing granny's attic then mixing
and matching it all into a melange that's
yours alone. If you don't believe me,
shop tabletop at Anthropologie!
Use it or lose it
Why defer the pleasure of trotting out all
of that "good stuff" for your company here
and now? If granny's china isn't dishwasher
proof go for it. Who cares if after a few
loads some of the gilt comes off? There's
no reason to feel guilty - we experts call
that "patina." At least it saw the light of
day. The same applies for that crystal or
colored glassware that's wrapped up in
newspaper in some box. Why not drink
to your hearts delight out of something
besides that recycled big gulp from the
local Seven Eleven! Chug-a-lug in style!
Out and about
If nothing else keeping said treasures
buried is a crime. Why not give it all
a chance to see the candlelight?! The
only reason to have nice things is to
enjoy them. I know of many who use
their sterling flatware daily. It cleans
up just fine in the dishwasher plus that
daily use guarantees it won't tarnish.
And while we're on the subject - I'm
baffled those who don't know how to
set a table. Fork on the left, knife and
spoons on the right. And never place
the forks on top of the napkin - never!
Satisfy your appetite
I'm not telling you to get fancy. While
I'm certain Zsa Zsa set a decent table,
it was always all about her. So please
indulge yourself and those lucky few
who dine with you. Life is short so why
short change yourself with compromise?
Enjoy whatever time you have left by
using all of that bric-a-brac left to you
by dead relatives. Honestly, if it breaks
they won't know! It's time to stop and
smell the roses, or eat off the ones that
decorate Aunt Dot's china. So do us all
a favor and get READY, SET, DINE!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

7th Day Surprise - EGGSACTLY

Time to get hopping.
In the old days this Sunday
at least guaranteed one some new togs.
Whatever you're wearing -
hope you find what your hunting for!