April 5th, 2018

“ !Gâi ǁgoas.” “Good Morning” in Khoekhoe (Nama), a Khoisan language spoken in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Its all over but the shouting l! I am now officially over the hill! I was watching a movie, “Atomic Blonde” starring the incredible actor, Charlize Theron, who is also incredibly beautiful. Its not a great movie. Its done mostly in flashbacks and there is a lot of time spent in bathtubs filled with ice cubes (I hope I never get hurt enough to have to have one of those baths!!!). Anyway, I watching this thing and they do one of their ice bath scenes and its sort of a fade out shot with Charlize naked sitting on the edge of this bathtub facing away from the camera. And the thought that pops into my head and unfortunately, out of my mouth as well, was, “ Wow, That is a cool bathtub!!” Oh man, that is just sad on so many levels.

I hope every one had a great holiday. Like most holidays, we ate very well. This year it was Standing Rib Roast, Oh Yeah! But on Easter we also enjoyed making the Easter eggs. We tried out “sponge technology” this year. It seems like every year there is some new unnatural act we can perpetuate on hard boiled eggs. That reminds me of a little thing I always got a kick out of growing up in South Florida. Did you ever have a friend or relative call those kind of eggs, “Herd Bolled”? They never quite got the “boy” sound out in Hard Boiled. “Yep, I like to put some salt and pepper all over ‘em and eat me a couple of herd bolled eggs”. Hehehe.

This week I learned some stuff:

• Finished my taxes this week, I am reminded of going to the dentist when I was a boy and I got out of the dentist office without having a cavity filled. Oh don’t get me wrong! Uncle Sam had his way with all my cavities but the shots in my gums just weren’t as painful this time.
• Today, we celebrate “National Deep Dish Pizza Day!!!” Did you have a favorite Deep Dish Pizza growing up. I am what one would call an equal opportunity Pizza guy. I love eating those big ass thin NY City slices. Oh Baby!!! But growing up there was the Sicilian place, Lucio’s on Coral Way between Douglas and 32nd Ave that served this like 3 in thick massive Deep Dish Sicilian pie that was soon good. Celebrate! Get some tomato sauce on your chin and some oregano stuck between your front teeth tonight from a great deep dish pie!
• From time to time, given no particular circumstance, the people that I have lost in my life will come to me, in glimpses. Often it will be some mundane clip of a advertisement or movie or TV show but it could be a clip of music just as easily. But I will remember the person and my first reaction is to cuss at them in my mind for leaving me so soon. My mother, brother and father are the most frequent visitors but I also am visited by my old friend Mark who committed suicide so long ago or a beautiful young man who died so needlessly at such a young age, Joey, working for the Dade County Water Dept. Sometimes they visit me and remind me that goodness has nothing to do with how long we get to live. I choke up for them all. My eyes get misty for them and there is swelling from my soul to my heart when they visit. I try to live up to their expectations or at least what I imagine those to be. But I know I fall short only to try again, harder tomorrow. When they come I am grateful for the visit and sad at the same time. I have learned to hope that when I go, that I can continue to linger as a warm happy thought on a pretty day for all those that have been my friend. I know that others have much grander hopes for themselves after they have lived this life. But I have learned that the key to happiness for me is to have reasonable expectations and try to just enjoy the ride.

Website Update:
• Second week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!! One friend got a 10 out of 10 right for the first time very recently. So we know it can be done. Remember these are words that I did not know before I discovered them do I always score a 10 out of 10 wrong first:)
• I just couldn’t get Warren Zevon to leave me alone this week. His haunting, “Keep Me in Your Heart” kept coming back to me as perhaps the very best song to play at a great Irish Wake. Anyway, I added it to the Lyrics page for you all to contemplate.. “for a while…”
• I did a fair amount of holiday cooking this week. I cooked a standing rib roast, with mashed taters and those really thin Asparagus spears. Oh baby! It all came together perfectly! Darrian walked in from work just as I was taking the roast out and finishing the mushroom, onion wine reduction sauce. Most of what I cook is reported to be pretty tasty if not always to everyone’s tastes but to be honest, it is hard to get it all done at the same time. For the most part, we cheat. If something gets done early, we nuke it back to heated as the thing we are waiting on finishes. Not this time, the entire Easter Dinner came out of the kitchen to the table from pan to plate, just like every holiday dinner that my Mom or Grandma fixed!!! (I am just so proud and suspect it will never happen again:) After Easter, I found an intriguing Pasta Dish on MilkStreet that sounded pretty good but the way they did it required “slotted spoon” capabilities that I am afraid I no longer possess. Anyway, for me it ended up being a 3 pot plus one blender dish that tasted great! Anyway, you should try the 3 Pot Rigatoni-with-Roman-Broccoli-Sauce recipe that I posted in Main Courses this week.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• Worked on Chewy’s canvas some more. Working with acrylics seems harder than before. I finalized the designs for my next 3 ceramics projects – I mentioned the trivets before…I have the designed now One is a peace sign, one is an image of Urge II, my former trusty steed VW Bus that I gave to Sean in High School and the last in Blue Meany. It should be fun!
• I have not yet started the String of Pearls painting for Jessica yet. I have it set up on my board but no sketch yet.
• I have designed the two new trivets for ceramics class – Urge 2 and the Blue Meanies. I am so excited.. did some watercolor sketches.

• I watched “Hacksaw Ridge” in the perfect order I think. I first got to watch the History Channel show about the defense and victory of the USMC on Okinawa. Then I saw the Showtime movie, “ Hacksaw Ridge” about this devout Christian Congressional Medal of Honor winner, PFC Desmond T. Dos who stayed and saved 75 men at Hacksaw Ridge. I wonder how anyone could be so devoted to their fellow man. He not only saved Americans but also triaged Japanese solders as well once he found and began to use their tunnels. An amazing story of bravery!

Music Update:
Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Rodrigo y Gabriella —Ixtapa — My friend Lou turned me on to another source of musical joy this week. This duo grew up together in Mexico City, played the tourist bars on the coast and then moved to Dublin where their unique take on Flamenco guitar could flourish. Enjoy this sample.
• James Taylor — Memphis — This song was originally written by Chuck Berry but made famous by a Johnny Rivers cover. Its an interesting song that starts out about a girl named Marie trying to get in touch..later it turns out she is a six year old trying to talk to her divorced daddy. The guitar work on this is really sweet.
• The Derek Trucks Band — I’ll Find My Way (Live) — This one here is just a fine piece of playing. This is from their “Songlines” album.
• Jackson Browne — The Birds of St. Marks — Another one from his latest album, “Standing in the Breech”. Originally, written in 1967 when he was 18. I love the 12 string playing by Greg Leizs. Jackson just gets better and better.
• Dire Straights — Down to the Waterline — This one is a bit spacey in the beginning but then Mark Knopfler makes his magic guitar and unique vocal style known to the world. This was the first song on their debut album and was also the demo sent that got them the record deal
• Los Lonely Boys — Heaven — A truly wonderful debut song by brothers Henry, Jojo and Ringo Garza, Los Lonely Boys.
• The Alan Parsons Project — I Wouldn’t Want Yo Be Like You — Typical tight smooth jazzy rocking at its best from the master. If Mr. Parsons wasn’t writing, playing and creating it, he was always producing it in others.
• Sting — Fields of Gold — A beautiful poem sung well. Recorded in 1993, on his “Ten Summoners Tales” album.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com