Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What the Hell Is #Lostmyliverpalooza?

"This party's gone to the dogs."

I started posting about it 15 days before it arrived and Facebook friends kept asking me that question. It was just a smart-alecky name we chose to refer to a gathering of several bloggers.

Now, sadly, #lostmyliverpalooza has come and gone and with it the exits of Cheryl Duford and husband Rick, Paula Larew Wooters and my brother Whitey. We had planned to accommodate Nicky Eff but, alas, the poor woman was felled by pancreatic problems. Some people will go to any lengths just to avoid meeting us.

"Lost my liver" quickly turned to "lost my liquor" as hardly any alcohol was imbibed but Paula from Rochester, Cheryl from Portsmith and Dufus from Aylmer, Quebec - not to mention outliers Whitey, Rick and Maryse - had a wonderful several days, despite the temperature dropping and it raining every day. But we all bundled up and sat out on the front porch so Cheryl could indulge in her little weakness - smoking.

We laughed a lot, particularly at the expense of others who weren't there (were your ears burning Nicky?) and we talked and talked and talked.

We figured out how to bring peace to the Middle East, we came up with a serum to the ebola virus (by the way, I told them, there was an upside to the ebola virus in Nigeria. There's a lot less e-mail spam lately. Too soon?) We mended American-Canadian relations (sorry about that 1812 thing guys) and we made great strides in addressing the great English-French divide, especially thanks to something called "Marysisms" contributed by my lovely wife which had us laughing until we cried.

And we ate. Lord how we ate. Maryse and I are now giving serious consideration to opening a B&B seeing how our meals and mattresses went over. Cheryl and Paula have promised glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.

And it was fun. It was great to get together with Paula and Cheryl, both of whom I'd met individually while they hadn't met one another. And we commiserated over our poor friend Nicky who we missed terribly.

Would we do it again? Hell, Paula says she's already started planning #lostmyliverpaloozatwo.

Here's some shots of the fun and games...

Cheryl and Paula had never met before but bonded quickly. Henry helped.

Rick poses with our Nicky stand-in.

Paula wears some appropriate hosiery.

Some of the swag my pals provided me with. Look at that framed photo from Cheryl, shoes from Rick and socks from Paula. Paula also gave me a 5 CD collection of Hot Rod music and something called "Poo-Pourri, Trap-A-Crap". Um, yeah, whatever made you think I needed this, Paula?
 It's okay Nicky, don't feel guilty. You can mail me your gifts.

Yours truly models my new "caution" socks. 

Our Nicky stand-in models Nicky's socks. Careful with that ax.

The three (four) amigos and their sexy socks.

Cheryl snaps away.

We switched out Paula for my brother Whitey and carried on the fun with Rick, Cheryl and Maryse.

My sincere thanks to Rick, Cheryl and Paula. It was a wonderful weekend. One I'll remember for a long tome with much fondness.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

I'm Not That Guy Anymore - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt

He was early. He sat, ordered a draft and took a sip. His mind drifted back to those carefree days of their youth. They grew up together. And did what little boys did. They joined Cubs, each earning every badge there was. They played Little League. Best friends on the same team. Pitcher and Catcher. They destroyed the opposition. He smiled to himself over memories of Grade school together. They were a couple of holy terrors, inseparable and always getting into trouble.

But they had lost touch, thought Bill. Stephen and his family had moved away to California, half a world away from Jersey. It might as well have been the moon. Sure they had written each other. But it seems each letter from Stephen got shorter until finally they had stopped altogether. But he couldn't blame him, thought Bill. "I was no Hemingway myself."

And then, out of the blue, after all these years, a letter from Stephen. He was coming to town on business and thought it'd be great to meet up and catch up on all that had transpired since high school. He suggested this pub, where, underage and using false ID they used to sip an illicit pint or two.

So Bill waited gazing out the window for Stephen to arrive. A shadow passed over him. Thinking it was the waiter he looked up to order another beer but it was a woman. A strikingly beautiful woman. Yet there was something oddly familiar about her although Bill just couldn't place it.

"Bill?" she inquired. And then it hit home. "Stephen?" he gasped. "It's Stephanie now" she whispered. "I'm not that guy anymore."

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Summer Will End - @Studio30Plus Writing Prompt

She felt his hand brush lightly against her wrist. It travelled up her arm causing the nearly invisible hairs there to stand on end. She turned to look at him siting there beside her. She felt warm and it wasn't from the sun-filled day on the beach which was now beginning it's descent. No, it was a warmth in the glow of their love.

They'd been inseparable since school broke for the summer and what started as a friendship, a close friendship, had grown into something much more. Their friends remarked they never saw one without the other and it was true. From morning till night, day-in, day-out, every waking moment they spent in each other's company, holding hands, gazing into each other's eyes and talking about everything... and nothing.

They had shared several classes in high school. He had sat behind her. She would hear his distinct breathing. He would gaze at her lengthy ponytail. And then he had screwed up his courage and asked her to the prom. And she had said yes. And their relationship had blossomed as they slow danced on the high school gymnasium floor.

They both came from well-off families. He wanted to study law. She was set on specializing in medicine. And they had both obtained scholarships to help them attain their dreams.

They had each done well in high school and he had excelled at football while she led the cheerleading squad. They were the perfect couple.

They were set for success. Their lives could not have been more idyllic. But they knew their lives would change.

"Summer will end" she thought "and so will our romance."

And as they watched the sun set slowly on the horizon a tear dripped down her cheek as they turned and kissed each other goodbye.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Bibliophile - July

I started out the month having read 51 books. During a hectic July I still managed to get through seven books raising my year to date total to 58.

First off I satiated my monthly music industry fix with Bumping Into Geniuses, a memoir from Danny Goldberg who among other things spent time as a rock n roll critic, a P.R. flack, a personal manager, president of Atlantic records, chairman of Warner Brothers Records and president of Mercury Records. This guy's been around and having referred to Neil Young as one of the greatest geniuses you've gotta like him right away. This was a fascinating read about the music biz.

Salinger was an interesting read - a biography by David Shields and Shane Salerno. Based on Salerno's documentary film of the same name the book's format of an oral history takes some getting used to but once you're past that you find this is a fascinating behind the scenes look at the reclusive writer. Salinger shunned the spotlight and for most of his life lived in seclusion. But what endeared me to him was his love of music: "Salinger was a record collector, which is a fascinating species of fetishist. You think of these people who obsessively alphabetize their record collection and have their own Dewey decimal system. It's a way of ordering experience and having control over it and not dealing with living, breathing human beings." First off, I don't see anything wrong with this. Second, it sure beats ordering them by colour, which some of my friends have threatened to do to my record and CD collection.

Saints of New York by R.J. Ellory and The Devil's Star - #5 in the Harry Hole series - were excellent reads that satisfied the inner detective in me. Although I don't know about the detective stories I pick. The central characters all appear to be alcoholics. Part of their charm, I guess.

And The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Swedish author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg capped off my month. This light-hearted comical novel I found to be similar to books like The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared, also by Swedish authors. If you liked them you'll like this one.

Here's a list of all the books I read in July. Fours out of five across the board.

Bumping Into Geniuses - Danny Goldberg ****
Bird Box - Josh Malerman ****
Salinger - David Shields & Shane Salerno ****
Saints of New York - R.J. Ellory ****
Landline - Rainbow Rowell ****
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo ****
The Little Old Lady Who Broke the All The Rules - Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg ****

And that's my month between the covers. What have you been reading?

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