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.
I, for one, am very happy to put this one in the books. Despite the happy conclusion to it all. Tonight the Irish Redhead and I have our traditional New Year's Eve dinner with a couple we have known many years but who we see rarely. But always on this night. Just the four of us. We swap stories, laugh, catch up. Wind down. Cook food, drink cocktails and champagne. Reinvigorate. Just in time for a new hand of 365 cards.
2012 should hold many amazing things for me. A silver wedding anniversary. A 15 year old Future Rock Star. Paris. Who knows what else?
There is only one thing left to do. At a minute before midnight, this Epic will raise a glass, pause a moment to consider the past, then toast it away. Join me. Over the top my friends! Bring us a full measure of 2012!!
P.S. I really like my post from last NYE so I am linking to it and I hope you enjoy it too.
In case you missed this lovely article from the New York Times this morning, I am linking it for you. It is one of the best pieces I have read in a long time. Rather inspirational on this "morning after" Christmas Day, don't you think?
Treu's Tic Toc Bar. Wausau, Wisconsin. Opened in 1965. Still the real thing today. Lined with planks from the North Woods. Leinenkugel's on tap. Great bar food. Heaven. This shot taken yesterday. In the frozen darkness of a winter's evening. A great bar pushes back such things. An even greater bar wraps such things about itself and uses them for insulation.
From the Epic Cellar, I am very pleased to report on two wines I have recently enjoyed. Both can be had for under $15.00 [USA] on a regular basis and I occasionally snag a bottle or two for under $10.00. I do not think these are good wines. I think they are great wines. I heartily recommend them, particularly with cold, damp weather upon us that just begs for a crackling fire and a big glass of red wine.
The Aquinas Pino Noir was recommended to me by a pally who happened to be my waiter one night out at dinner a long way from home. I was very impressed with it as I have also been with the Cabernet and Merlot produced by the same house.
Just last week, I was having dinner in a favorite place in Kansas City. A cool jazz club in the basement of an old speakeasy. I asked the waiter about the Guenoc I saw on the menu and he was not familiar with it. It should come as no surprise to the return reader that I have an Edwardian romantic attraction to any wine that describes itself these days as a "claret". Particularly one with Lillie Langtree on the label. As I was pondering my choice, the waiter returned and said he had made inquiry of a young lady co-worker who highly recommended the Guenoc. As I am loathe to ignore the recommendation of a lady when it comes to Claret, I procured a bottle. I adored it.
Both of these wines taste great right out of the bottle but sidle their way smoothly toward lovely after a little while in contact with the air. Both bottles have a snuggly close flavor while managing at the same time a certain far off distance from the palate. The highly trained sipper such as myself will detect that both wines have a distinct underlying fruit flavor which is subtly reminiscent of grapes. One of my favorite flavors for wine.
My best recommendation is that I would bring either bottle to a friend's home as a dinner party gift. It is in the same spirit that I submit them, humbly, for your approval. Cheers!
Sponsorship Note: Neither vintner mentioned in this post is compensating me for my opinions. If they choose to send me a case or two, however, I wouldn't refuse the shipments.
I currently find myself in one of the greatest cities in the world. At a private club. In my favorite bar. When the barman punches my Oban into the P.O.S. system, my name pops up on the screen. Just like the famous and the rich drinking before me.
My name is the same as my dad's. And the same as my grandpa's. Admittedly, an old man's name.
When my grandpa met my first boss, he called him "sir". Because of his occupation. My grandpa was a great man. And thirty years older than "sir".
Because of a few random and great moments half a decade ago, I now get to sit in this bar. In a town and a building my dad and my grandpa never even dreamed of entering.
My grandpa worked his ass off in the Depression on a loading dock. My Dad found he had a great athletic skill and capitalized on it. What I do is talk. I can tell stories that people want to listen to.
Tonight, when my pally the barman punched my Oban into the POS system, my name came onto the screen. And my Dad's. And my grandpa's. And I know they were so very pleased. They are long gone. But we were together again. United in the fact that the effort applied to our gifts got us someplace. And what a place it is.
In my early 60s, widower, father and itinerant storyteller. I am a putative jazz singer, poet and novelist, dedicated to mining every minute of life for the veins of pleasure they contain. My motto is "Dum Vivimus, Vivamus"..."While we Live--LET US LIVE".