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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Summer Is Coming!!!

I promise that the snow will melt.  Summer will be here soon.  Better yet, Desi Arnaz says so too.  This album is crazy good. Get it and see.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ribbons Every Day

I admit, for many years I was not a fan of Valentine's Day. For a lot of reasons I have written down before. But for the past twenty-eight years it has been one of my very favorite days. This is, as ever, for the Irish Redhead. Mr. Wonder says it best.

My Epic wish is that each of you finds someone that makes this song as special to you as it is to me.  No matter what day of the year it is.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Epic Listening: Uptown Lounge [Various Artists, 1999]

Some years ago, there was this great bar in Las Vegas called Hamilton's.  The motto of the joint was "where it's always midnight".  And it was an outstanding place.  Big drinks, good music, quiet sophisticated decor, great service. Hamilton's is gone now, but you can re-create the atmosphere with this great ensemble album.  This is in my opinion a particularly strong antidote for the current wintry deluge afflicting much of North America.

While the snow drifts down from the sky, imagine slipping into your smoking jacket, pouring a big whiskey on the rocks or a strong martini, plunking down in a good chair before a crackling fire in the grate and putting on this play list...

1. A Kiss To Build A Dream On - Louis Armstrong
2. My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone
3. Manhattan - Bobby Short
4. You Stepped Out Of A Dream - Sarah Vaughan
5. Confessin' The Blues - Joe Williams
6. Baby Won't You Please Come Home - Gloria Lynne
7. The Very Thought Of You - Arthur Prysock
8. Sufferin' With The Blues - Nancy Wilson
9. Walkin' My Baby Back Home - Nat King Cole
10. The Lady Is A Tramp - Della Reese
11. Lush Life - Sammy Davis Jr.
12. Unforgettable - Dinah Washington
13. You're The One - Lou Rawls
14. Crazy He Calls Me - Dakota Staton
15. Stormy Weather - Lena Horne
16. Exactly Like You - Carmen McRae
17. Taking A Chance On Love - Billy Eckstine
18. Girl From Ipanema - Esther Philips

Each track is superb, but my very favorites are Manhattan by Bobby Short, The Very Thought of You by Arthur Prysock, and, without equal, Sammy Davis Jr.'s crushing version of Lush Life.  If I am ever in need of walk up music for some reason, this Lush Life may well be it.  I do not exaggerate when I say that this album is so good that you may never want to listen to it other than alone.  With a cocktail.  I can't imagine hearing some of these heart wrenching songs without libation.  This is the album you listen to after you lose her.  Or when you think of her years later.  And it's dark and snowing outside.

You can still buy used copies of this wonderful album on Amazon.com.  For a quarter.  Do what you like, but don't blame me if one day you find yourself in need of one of the best Epic albums ever and they are all sold to someone else. As for me, I'll be where it is always midnight. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Epic Drinking: Great Cider

Since last Autumn, I have delved deeply into ciders. You can't turn around in a pub or store these days without bumping into quite a few. Some are just awful. Some are Epic.  Winter Chill by Woodchuck is my current favorite. Oak aged.  Wonderful.  Just the thing to drive off the snowfall. Try it with a float of Crown Royal Maple.  Thank me later--when it is Spring.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Movie Star Treatment

I am not much for Los Angeles.  But I like Beverly Hills a lot.  That said, some years ago when I first stayed at the Beverly Hilton I admit that I was in awe.  The famous hotel in Beverly Hills, California was iconic in every way.  I was acutely aware of the inexpensive rental car I was driving when I pulled up to the valet stand.  Immediately, however, the hospitality and professionalism of the staff removed any self consciousness on my part. Every guest is treated like someone special. Like a movie star. I have found this to be the case at truly great hotels and restaurants wherever they are located.  That first visit to the Beverly Hilton was during the holiday season and the stunning lobby was capped off with a huge tinsel Christmas tree sparkling with lights and a gingerbread mansion created by the hotel restaurant staff.

Since that first visit, I make the Beverly Hilton my home whenever I find myself in Southern California.  The last time I was a guest there, I finally gave in to the temptation to buy one of the superb robes that the hotel places in guest rooms. This is without a doubt the best robe I have ever worn. It is a sateen cotton on the outside and a luxurious, absorbent cotton terry on the inside.  And those shawl lapels!! And the classic hotel logo!! The word "swanky" does not begin to do it justice. When you put this robe on you feel like Bogart.  No, like Douglas Fairbanks.

In other words, like a movie star of the first rank.  Trust me, finishing your preparations for an evening out in a robe like this, in a suite at the Beverly Hilton, an icy silver shaker of martinis at hand, is just the way to sally forth to dinner at Morton's [on Melrose, in the old days] or to La Dolce Vita [my favorite hangout, one of Sinatra's places].  Putting on a fine garment, whether it be a suit, a favorite pair of loafers, or a bath robe, is both transformative and transportational for the Epic. It will create happiness and also take you to memories of another time and place.

The vicissitudes of business and personal time have kept me away from Beverly Hills of late. But whenever I put on this fantastic robe, I am right back there. Pampered. Surrounded by graceful luxury. A movie star.