I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The trip went extraordinarily well. My travel companions and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves, as, flushed with success we found ourselves driving down a Phoenix boulevard when we came upon a fellow working on a street corner. Outdoors. At noon. In the desert sun.
You think you have a lousy job? Try being a clearance sale sign man. You know. The poor blighter that, for a minimum wage, gets to stand out on some corner holding a sign. All day long. With no protection from rain, wind or sun. Wearing out his epidermis in the service of a store that is rather continually in a state of "clearance sale" or "going out of business". There are worse jobs. But the sign man's is on my short list of lousy ones.
As our car approached this particular desert corner, we noticed something out of the ordinary. Something Epic. This man was spinning his sign. Around his shoulders. Then around his torso. Under one leg. Then the other. Then up in the air. Finally he caught the sign, slapped the long edge of it on the broiling sidewalk, and sat on it with chin in hand. A huge grin on his face. Look what I can do. Look how good I am.
The light changed to green and traffic began to move. One car of astounded business travelers, with all four windows down, cheering and giving the thumbs up. Saluting a grand performance. The Clearance Sign Man grinned our way and gave the slightest of bows.
I do not know if the store was really going "out of business". I don't really care. What that sign man gave us was a living example of joy in what could only be described as trying circumstances. Nobility and Art in the midst of a concrete desert. A job very well done. Putting whatever it was we thought we had accomplished that morning squarely in the shade.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I have this friend. He is good looking, successful, very happily married, and an accomplished Thai cook. I should dislike him intently, but I don't. I owe him my love Thai cuisine because I had never tasted the amazing complexity of flavors in true Thai cooking before he took me out to a Thai restaurant for the first time some years ago.
If you poll a group of occasional Thai diners, they will probably say that "Pad Thai" is one of their favorite dishes, as it is mine. I discovered recently, however, that this is really a name without much meaning. Literally translated, the term "Pad Thai" means "Thai style stir-fried noodles". Leaving a wide range for interpretation. A wonderful recipe (from a wonderful web site and blog) can be found here.
In any event, reading up on this dish on the Thai Food and Travel site, I became aware of the American controversy in the preparation of Pad Thai. Apparently the typical way the noodles are made in Thailand renders the noodles dry and a natural tan color. Some American restaurants put catsup in the noodles to color them and give them more flavor or they add hot pepper sauce with a similar but kicked-up effect. I eat the "red" Pad Thai noodles at restaurants and I always like them. Even though I was uninformed of their lack of "authenticity". I have only had the "drier", tan Pad Thai once. At Trader Vic's. I have a multitude of good Trader Vic's stories that will have to wait to another time. Suffice to say, the difference between the "dry" preparation and the "red" versions is dramatic. A completely different flavor, much more delicate and sophisticated. And, no, I had not imbibed multiple Mai Tais at Trader Vic's before my dinner. Only one. Or perhaps two.
Although I prefer the "dry" style of Pad Thai, I certainly like the "red" style also and I'll eat it again the next time it shows up on my plate. The Epic notion is that if you like the flavor, don't worry about the authenticity. Just enjoy what shows up for you during any given meal. Or in the course of any given day.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana.
"Drink to me. Drink to my health..."--Paul McCartney
Onward and upward!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Ah, it is a fine, soft night. I think I'll be goin' to talk a little treason.
Oh, that's no angel. That is Mary Kate Dannaher. But pay her no mind Sean, that red hair is no lie.
You little squint!
Well, I can't say its true, and I won't say its not...but there's been talk...
If you have not had the pleasure of seeing the film, you can watch one of my favorite scenes here. It is my gift to all Epics on this St. Patrick's Day.
I watch a lot of movies, but if I had only one to keep forever, it would be The Quiet Man. It is like a trip to the Ireland of which one dreams. With a wee taste of Powers whiskey in a glass. On a fine, soft night.
Monday, March 15, 2010
This is Mr. Thoeni. Not me. We did have the same brand of skis though. Spalding is not paying me for this post. I wish they were.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
A Kiss To Build A Dream On, Louis Armstrong
My Baby Just Cares For Me, Nina Simone
Manhattan, Bobby Short
You Stepped Out of A Dream, Sarah Vaughn
Confessin' The Blues, Joe Williams
Baby Won't You Please Come Home, Gloria Lynne
The Very Thought Of You, Arthur Prysock
Walkin' My Baby Back Home, Nat King Cole
Sufferin' With The Blues, Nancy Wilson
The Lady Is A Tramp, Della Reese
Lush Life, Sammy Davis, Jr.
Unforgettable, Dina Washington
You're The One, Lou Rawls
Crazy He Calls Me, Dakota Staton
Stormy Weather, Lena Horne
Exactly Like You, Carmen Mcrae
Taking A Chance On Love, Billy Eckstine
Girl From Ipanema, Esther Phillips
This album is a jewel box of marvelous performances, many of which I had never heard before. That being said, it is Sammy Davis, Jr.'s turn with Lush Life that steals the show. It is simply one of my favorite recordings. Number three in the Epic list of top songs of all time. That one track alone justifies both the price of this out of print album and the effort you will make to procure it. But make sure you have plenty of booze if you listen to this version of Lush Life more than once in a sitting. And you will.
The back of the album says...
The club fades into darkness. Then the stage lights go on.
The audience falls silent. Slowly, carefully, the curtain parts.
The house band is cued. The music starts.
Showtime...Excited, you hold your lady's hand.
Here, at the Uptown Lounge, the parade of phenomenal performers begins...
It is still snowing/sleeting/raining outside. The fire crackles. You hit the play button the second time. Go ahead. Pour yourself and your CEP another whiskey. Snuggle into the sofa. You've earned it.