Saturday, June 24, 2017

HOUSE HUNTERS



On the market
There is one passion that almost every New
Yorker shares with our President - real estate!
Virtually every one of us is constantly on the
search for better digs. Hence one of the most
favorite sections in the Sunday Times is you
guessed it - REAL ESTATE. Theres an allure
to owning a piece of the isle of Manhattan that
lures global addicts as well. All one has to do
is watch Million Dollar Listing on Bravo to
get sucked into what is for many a competitive
sport. Plus watching several handsome young
men cavort about town is equally entertaining.
The market is not the only thing that's HOT!
Prey tell us
Many live vicariously through others. That's
the only explanation for our willingness to
sit on the couch and view ordinary folks as
they review mediocre manses on HGTV's
House Hunters. I tolerate all of their inane
diatribes on wall colors and decor because
I suffer from adverse architectural addiction.
For many reasons I love to fantasize about
transforming another hell hole into heaven.
Which is why one of my favorite blogs still
is www.oldhousedreams.com . There I find
diamond in the roughs - at next to nothing
prices. And can freely look BUT never buy!
Repeat transcenders
Renovating trash into treasure is like crack.
Yet unlike those folks to flip track homes
for pure profit, restoration is driven by a
very different motivation. Much like those
plastic surgeons on "Botched" a homeowner
hell bent on saving a house is a force to be
reckoned with. In truth nothing is rational
about reversing decades of neglect. However
I would argue that little as enlightening as
bringing the past back to life. It is in essence
a gesture of deep respect. Acknowledging
the original investment others made years
ago. Insuring that history repeats itself.
Shop and stop
Some can't get enough. So they move from
house to house spreading their restorative
powers across town. In order to do so you
must be a visionary. Few can see the forest
for the filthy shag carpeting. Yet once all is
done, many opt to move on. A phenomena
I simply can't fathom. Since December of
2012 we've poured our hearts into our home.
For many reasons we've become attached
to this former victim of abuse. We feel a
responsibility to our home, neighbors, and
community. While exhausted and almost
penniless, we're NOT going anywhere.
Before and after
Home is where the heart is. Somehow one
connects with a space. More than shelter,
it speaks to you. Which makes sense given
old homes are legacies of those who have
lived there before us. New home owners
assume responsibility for more than brick
and mortar. Our 1917 home was filled with
ghosts of the past. During it's transformation
they watched from the sidelines. And once
convinced that we had their best interests
at heart they moved on. Since then we've
invested emotional and financial capital in
the joint so someday we may do the same!

Friday, June 23, 2017

ONLY THE LONELY...


Split decision
For the majority of my adult life I've been half
of a pair. Not only do I love another's company,
I find that such an alignment helps to make me
a better man. Since the day we met, Frank has
pushed me to new places whether I liked it or
not. The result being an enhanced existence all
due to my better half. All the more apparent if
and when I'm on my own without his guidance,
leadership, and company. I'm like a lost lamb
wandering this city in search of his shepherd.
And little is as pathetic as a lonely, fat, and old
man searching for something to do on his own.
Which reminds me of how much I miss Frank.
Substitute teachers
Misery loves company. Hence I quickly realized
that I am NOT alone. Wherever I go I encounter
fellow wayward souls. Each in futile pursuit of
whatever they think will fill their lingering voids.
Some haunt the aisles of Bergdorf and Barney's
trying to satiate their loneliness via conspicuous
consumption. Others belly up to the bar in order
to capriciously eavesdrop in on other people's
conversations. Then of course there are the jocks
who jog through the park as they work things
out.  If nothing else this city can be the loneliest
place on earth. Even when one's isolation is due
to self-exile. Is life a game of hide and seek?!
Road less traveled
You see, I simply don't want to fraternize with
the locals. There is no doubt that I've got lots
of friends. All of whom are more than willing
to fill my dance card in a heartbeat. However
my problem is that I'm really not interested in
mixing it up. Thus my self-imposed exile is
rather selfish given I absolutely do NOT have
to go it alone. So why do I purposefully isolate
myself? Simply because nothing can fill the
gaping hole left by the absence of my better
half. And even if I accept and celebrate all of
the reasons why we're apart - all I want is to
have him by my side twenty four seven.
Necessary evil
I've no reason to feel the way I do. Few if any
are as lucky as I am to have such an amazing
man to share my life with. We're in a blessed
minority who are able to split life between
Manhattan and Montana. Therefore I've no
reason to resent the fact that Frank is able
to spend half his time in Lewistown. And in
theory, I'm glad that he can do so. My issue
is my frustration over the fact that in doing
so, he isn't with me. Let's face facts. I'm a big
boy - literally and figuratively. Therefore I've
no excuse for not giving my honey whatever
he needs to be happy. But... what about me?
Well worth the effort
I get the theory of no pain - no gain. Thus
I can easily rationalize why I'm in the spot
I'm in. This hiatus has a limited time span
and clear objective. Hence I've no reason
to be miserable given ultimately it should
all be worth it. Therefore I need to make
the most of it and stop feeling sorry for
myself. Within two weeks I'll be back in
my baby's arms. And a month later, he'll
be here in Manhattan for some "us" time.
Come fall we'll be together full time and
all of my isolation will be a thing of the
past. And we'll both be the better for it...


Thursday, June 22, 2017

BEST LEFT UNSAID


Harry situation
Having a President who spews whatever is
on his mind is nothing new. Harry Truman
often had foot in mouth disease. So much
so that he implemented his own firewall to
insure that he kept his thoughts to himself.
When angry or distraught about something
he would write a letter. Then carefully put
said missive in a desk drawer. There it sat
for a day or two until he reread the contents
Ultimately most of his messages ended up
in the trash where they belonged. Thus he
avoided going down in history for all the
wrong reasons. The less said the better!


Covfefe in chief
Sadly the spontaneity of modern social media
doesn't provide a built in safety net. Therefore
we all must exercise a level of self restraint
prior to pushing any button. Which is easier
said than done. In the heat of the moment all
we want is to lash out or get something off
our chests. However doing so in a very public
forum can get one in trouble as once it's out
it's on the record. Unless you use Instagram!
Meaning that a short term spurt could inflict
long term hurt. Leaving a trail of collateral
damage that at times can go viral. Thus we
must EACH hold ourselves fully responsible.



Self service
I'll admit that I'm not the best example of
self control. This blog is if nothing else a
cyber mind dump. A reflection of where
my head is at a certain time and place.
Over the years I've posted my share of big
mistakes. Yet fortunately I've written more
than a few posts that never saw the light of
day. Prime examples that some things are
best left unsaid. Such acts of omission are
best for all involved. Simply by putting
thoughts into words helps me process all
that ails me. Yet I understand that there is
a right and wrong place for everything.



Flight risk
Timing is everything. Thus one must know
when and where to pick their battles. Rarely
does the uttering of incendiary thoughts solve
anything. Instead it incites others to riot. So
rather than poke a stick in the bear's cage it's
often best to work through your problems on
your own. While drama may fuel a reality
TV show, it's rarely benefits any innocent
bystanders caught in the crossfire. Which is
why one should NOT share all that's on their
mind. Practicing self restraint benefits all
involved. It provides the chance to think
it over and possibly set yourself straight!



Broken record
We all make mistakes and none of us is
always right. Processing in private is the
best policy in the long run. Otherwise
what's of the moment will bite you in
your hindsight. So before you tweet of
tapes, birth certificates, tax returns, or
whatever else comes to mind remember
the world is watching. And while you may
opt to ignore the facts, posterity won't. So
please Mr. Trump - take Harry's advice and
defer the inevitable. Stop and think before
you let us all have it. Or better yet, listen to
Ivanka and put the damned phone down!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

THERE'S ALWAYS A FIRST


The heat is on
Today is the first day of summer. As I so
tediously outlined yesterday, many of us
have already experienced summer-like
peaks for weeks. Or... froze our asses off.
You see, the only thing reliable about the
weather is it's inconsistencies. Add the
theoretical impact of global warming to
insure we're living in a climate of change.
Little is as powerful as Mother Nature's
capricious wrath. Hence at any point this
summer we could be faced with a crisis
that could literally kill some of us. Be that
a heat wave, flood, tornado, or drought.
Summer vacation
However my preference is to think of anything
but that as I kick off of the season. Summer has
always been a time of escape for we Americans.
While not sophisticated like the Europeans who
take a month off, the majority of us take a leave
of reality for a week or two. Which inevitably
involves some gathering of family or friends at
a special location. Here in Manhattan anybody
who can afford to exits the city every weekend.
However as some of you know, I prefer to stay
home rather than battle the masses on their way
to/from the Hamptons, Berkshires, or the Jersey
Shore. Once they've left, the city is mine alone!
The more the merrier
Summer in the northeast is a group effort. One
that's grounded in a variety of long standing
traditions. However for the majority of locals
the reason they leave home base is driven by
their desire to beat the heat. And even in our
modern times of air conditioning, a concrete
jungle such as Manhattan can be horrifically
oppressive during the summer months. Thus
the idea of running far away to some verdant
oasis to chill out is more than appealing. The
challenge is getting there along with a million
or so other short term refugees. Is it really all
that worth it? Or should we just stay at home?
Child's play
I spend each summer feeling oddly deprived.
That's because I secretly resent not being able
to take the summer off. As kids we were set
free from mid June through Labor Day. And
if you were like me, most of your days were
spent out and about. In hindsight one can't but
think that such summer vacations were really
the ultimate set ups. If youth is wasted on the
young, then the realization that you'll never
have that freedom again is a bitch slap. Thus
each and every one of us seem to harbor some
secret form of anger at being forced to work
rather than make hay while the sun shines...
Substitute teachers
However one chooses to make up for such a
loss is up to them. Some garden. Others bake
in the sun. A few of us purposefully change
our locale. Whatever floats your boat is your
business. All that's required is a willingness
to reconsider your short term options. Any
escape from life's normal ebb and flow may
not protect you from the threat of a tsunami.
However reconditioning one's soul insures
one is ready to face almost any challenge.
This season is the perfect time to break out
and start fresh. Which is why I always make
a few summer versus new year's resolutions.
Over and out
Unlike other seasons summer is free and easy.
Hence whatever goals you set for yourself can
be rather fluid. Which is exactly why one of
my summer resolutions is to end my day with
glass in hand (Mount Gay (rum) and tonic) on
my balcony. My view won't be of the ocean or
a lake. Instead it will be of a stream of tourists
traveling up and down Fifty Seventh Street.
However the act of purposefully pausing and
reflecting is what my nightly cocktail hour will
be all about. Most of the year it's hard to clear
my head. Therefore at least for the summer I'm
forcing myself to maintain a wide open mind!
Rainbow's end
You don't have to travel somewhere else to
get to a better place. Rather all one must do
is be resolved to shift gears and move in a
different direction. Escaping reality doesn't
require more cash. All that's necessary is a
willingness to consider alternatives. So why
not do something - anything that's out of the
ordinary? Have your morning coffee on the
back porch in your underwear. Take a bike
ride. Clean out the garage. Call your Mom.
Do whatever you normally would NOT do.
Even more important, enjoy said process
of elimination. Take a summer vacation!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WATER WORLD



Here come the fuzz
The other morning I awoke in a haze. That's
because my outlook on the world was fuzzy
at best. Every window in the apartment was
fogged over with condensation. All because
I was "chilling'" in air conditioned splendor
while the world outside was a HOT MESS!
Reminding me of one of the things I did not
miss while away from Manhattan - humidity!
For the last three years I lived in Lewistown
Montana where the humidity rarely hit forty
percent. Whereas on the isle of Manhattan it
has hovered around ninety five percent over
the past few days. And... it wasn't raining...
Water world
Living on an island surrounded by water can
at times dampen one's spirits. High humidity
tends to destroy the resolve of all involved by
literally dragging them down. Suddenly one's
coif has a will all it's own. Creating much a
doo about something as it erupts in a flurry
of swirls or literally falls flat. Walking a few
blocks out of sorts will easily insure that one
arrives at work wet behind the ears. Much as
those from northern climes, most urbanites
stay inside rather than brave the heat. And if
these past few spring days are any indication,
it's going to be a looooooooong, hot summer.
Light show
In times like these one tries to look on the
bright side. During such steamy temps a
heavy fog descends upon this city at night.
The ensuing haze bounces all light off it's
rolling mass creating a spectacle that's free
for all. While at times quite lovely it can
be rather confusing living in such a state
of extremes. Hence deciding what to wear
can be more than challenging. A bikini can
be appropriate street gear whereas a mink
coat may be required in order to survive the
air conditioning. Thus it's no wonder most
New Yorkers run either HOT OR COLD!
Spirits dampened
I'm adjusting to my new situation. Having
lived across this country I've experienced
every extreme. Several summers in Dallas
taught me how to handle the heat. Wive's
tales aside, there's a big difference between
dry versus wet climes. During the winter
the thermometer dips far below zero back
in Montana. Yet sans humidity, ten below
can be far nicer than a cold and damp day
in the thirties. Given I was raised in these
here parts, I should be able to weather any
storm. However the older I get, it seems
that my resolve dampens all the more.
On a roll
Weather or not I can stand the heat is still to
be seen. Meanwhile I'm once again adjusting
to urban life. This weekend I decided to perk
up my balcony with some greenery. Living
in the city, gathering such goodies requires
a strategic approach to procurement. Home
Depot is six blocks away across town. Over
two round trips I loaded my tiny grocery cart
(left) with as much as it could carry. Soon a
row of Rosemary softened my outer limits.
Now I'm prepared for summer in the city.
No matter the temperature, I'll sit outside,
sip a cocktail or two, and chill with a view.

Monday, June 19, 2017

PICTURE PERFECT



The last best place
Well, we finally made it. Last week
the Summer Issue of Big Sky Journal
hit newsstands. Our home is covered
in an article within. Why did we let
them tell our story? Because we love
Lewistown and all of the local experts
who made our dreams come true. So
help us out, spread the word, and pass
this blog along. Thanks to the team at
Big Sky Journal! ENJOY!





Sunday, June 18, 2017

IT'S ALL ABOUT DAD











HE'S THE MAN

He knows what he's talking about.
So listen, watch, and learn.
And be thankful he's your father.

Happy Father's Day!