Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

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.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Epic Treats: Candy Corn

Today is Halloween in the U.S.A. As much fun as Halloween is, what I love best is the appearance of my favorite Halloween (October) to Thanksgiving (November) treat. The Brach's candy company "Autumn Mix" of candy corn. Made with honey. Chocolate tipped. And with lots of big, soft, chewy, candy PUMPKINS. I just love everything about this candy and I eat it until it is all gone. Then I wait for next year when I can get it again.

An inexpensive and simple treat, but a great one. Have a happy, safe and Epic Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Did You? Do You?

"Old Nassau Hall", Princeton University. Great campus. Not my school.

My son, the Future Rock Star, has the greatest smile. At full wattage, it beams his personality and charms crocodiles. Or, on occasion, head waiters in big city temples of gastronomy. Sometimes, he only has half wattage, a curl of the side of his mouth. No matter how many times I see one version of his smile or another, it always catches me by surprise and makes me think "I am his father!". Even when I have been considering smacking him moments before.

Last weekend we took a football trip to my alma mater. Sadly, the first such trip in a couple of years. A fine visit with glorious weather. As we strolled across campus toward the stadium, I was pointing out various historical points of interest. Of interest to me, anyway. At one point, the FRS took it upon himself to catch me unaware with a stealth question. One of those serious ones that teens will throw at you with the off hand.

"Did you like it when you were here?"

I glanced toward him at an oblique angle. With a teen, you have to make full use of the oblique angles since direct looks tend to provoke confrontation.

"Man, I loved it here. My time here was the greatest time of my life up to then."

Silence. Then...

"I would love it here too. I hope I can go to school here."

Hm. How about that? We continued our traverse through mingling throngs of alumni, students and fans. All of a sudden, he threw another curve ball at me...

"Do you like your life now?"

Good grief. We were squarely on the edge of deep water at this point. And not a happy hour in sight. I wondered if he asks his mother things like this.

"Buddy, I love my life now. And you know what? The best part of it is spending time with you like this."

It is a well accepted physiological fact that no human walking the face of the globe can roll their eyes like a teen. I don't care if you go into the heart of the Amazon River jungle. Find yourself a thirteen year old and his parents will also know all about rolling of eyes. My last pronouncement caused an instantaneous, near reflexive, roll of the FRS' hazel irises. A major roll. I peered at him from my oblique angle as we negotiated some seemingly drunken pre-game revelers. Then I saw it, even though he was not looking at me. That sparkling half smile. Flashed obliquely my way.

The game stunk. The day, however, was all sunlight and gold.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prep Time

I am having a routine medical screening procedure tomorrow. Something that almost everyone over fifty endures without blinking an eye.

Not me. I am not happy about it. Not one little bit.

I admit to only one significant medical event in my life. As a result, I am a real diva when it comes to "routine medical screening procedures". Especially when they involve FASTING. For the better part of TWO DAYS. Along with other unmentionable horrors. This particular Epic does not take well to being food and drink deprived. GRRRRR.

Wait. The instructions for today say I have to stay on "clear liquids only".

The last time I looked, Vodka was a liquid. And a clear one at that. Hm. Stay tuned...

Martinis And The Electoral Franchise

This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it.
--Will Rogers

In the good old U.S.A. we are bracing ourselves for another election day in early November. Where I live, they have "early voting" where you can stroll in, weeks ahead of time, and fill out a ballot at your leisure without the press of other citizens about you to increase the stress of the occasion.

As I wandered down the sidewalk the other day toward my local polling place, an odd coincidence caught my eye. My town is not known for good bars, much less for bars that are actually open in the middle of the afternoon. When you might just really need a drink due to some tedious business or social issue. Or due to some civic responsibility. On this particular gorgeous autumn day, however, I saw that one of the bars downtown had taken upon itself to begin happy hour at noon. On a whim? To try and beat out its competitors? For election season?

Regardless, I thought it just the thing in light of the usual dismal electoral choices facing me to effect some lubrication prior to hitting the ballot box. As I sipped a very good Stoli martini [at happy hour prices] I examined the gobbledygook on the sample ballot they spread about before the big day. No inspiration came to me regarding my ultimate electoral choices as I finished the first cocktail. Now, I take this voting thing pretty seriously. That is why I am always pretty disappointed a year or so after every election. It seemed, in light of the weighty responsibility I was undertaking, that only one thing was called for. Another round. After which I had no more insight on the election, although life in general had acquired a certain rosy glow.

Voting accomplished, I toddled out and took a round about walk to enjoy the soft air of the remaining late afternoon. I do not know if a couple of martinis will make my electoral choices any better. One thing is certain. A couple of martinis cannot make my choices turn out any worse than the ones I made sober all those years.

Friday, October 22, 2010

C.D. at 67

Today I indulge myself in my annual ritual of celebration for her birthday. I'll have some bourbon. And raise a toast to Catherine Deneuve. This year she said that when she goes out to the public cinema she "sit[s] in a seat and the lights go down and it really, really excites me." Even now. From a lady who didn't even know if she wanted to be an actress until Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Can you imagine? Going to the movies and glancing about and seeing ...her? I would die.

It is well known that she loves gardening. Here is a small clip of her at a garden show. Brace yourselves for that (no doubt) Bourbon tempered voice...

Here are links to my first two posts celebrating her 65th and 66th birthdays. How wonderful it is to know that, for another year, this lady of a certain age continues to thrive at, and set the standard for, the incredible craft of being a woman. Marvelous.

Attribution Note: Quote from artsbeat.blogs.newyorktimes.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I discover them in the oddest places, and always by surprise. My travel kit. My suitcase. My golf bag. My briefcase. My desk drawer. Suit jacket pockets. They feel nice. They often smell very nice. Most important, they have a certain Epic talismanic power.

This power transports me to times and places where laughter, good food and drink prevail. Where the memories (when there are memories) are surrounded by the glow of fellowship and good humor. Times when victories were celebrated. Defeats assuaged. Events memorialized. Deals done. Re-connections established after too many trips away from home. When I finish a bottle of wine at dinner, I always carry off the cork. There are some very pretty frames you can put them in, even a table top under glass. I prefer however to scatter them around my life. To remind me. And to make me smile without warning. Touching an old wine cork provides an instant dose of pleasantness. No matter what the place or time of day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Epic Ads: The Surprise Gift

This store was founded in 1854 and yet I had never heard of it. They do not seem to have a store in Wisconsin. Or in Florida. Or anywhere in America other than Worcester, Massachusetts. Their web site is in French. Exclusively. They seem to sell fine food and wine. Some home accessories I'll bet. Perhaps a nice cork screw or two.

She's walking toward me on the Pont ............. in Paris. Dressed to the nines. She popped by Hediard on the way because she knows what I like. That they have it there. And that only she can give it to me.

You know what I like the best about this ad? That she looks like a real woman, not some overly thin model. Draped in several yards of gray satin. Note to myself...on that first grand trip to Paris, Hediard it is. I'll buy something. Just to thank them for this marvelous ad.