Gin and tonic

I have not posted in some time. I haven't called in awhile. I haven't sent that random text in many weeks. I haven't opened the 6 books that I'm dying to read. And no, the pile of papers on the counter that need to be filed away, yeah, the stack keeps growing. I'm not one for excuses. So what have I been doing lately? Chasing rainbows. I miss just10things. This was my relax. This was my break. Therefore, tonight, old school.
  1. "And pennies make dimes and dimes make dollars, Dollars buy gas and longneck bottles, Beer gets a barefoot country girl swayin, To a song that's playin on the radio station. Bad times make the good times better, Look in her eyes and you're gone forever, Aw its a helluva ride... Yeah, It's a helluva life." ~ Helluva Life, Frankie Ballard
  2. "Baby you're a song You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise Down a back road blowin’ stop signs through the middle Every little farm town with you In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit Would look a hell of a lot better with you up in it So baby you're a song You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise" ~ Cruise, Florida Georgia Line
  3. "Heard about the old time sailor men, They eat the same thing again and again; Warm beer and bread they say could raise the dead. Well, it reminds me of the menu at a Holiday Inn." ~ Cheeseburger In Paradise, Jimmy Buffet
  4. "Well I see the souls of so many friends, And I see us all back here again. With sandy floors and ceiling fans, A Rastafarian one-man band with songs That fill my memories like a tip jar. Yeah, that's what I see When I see this bar." ~ When I see This Bar, Kenny Chesney
  5. "A lifetime for a day Would be an even trade No price I wouldn't pay For your heart love I know how it feels to breath With you beside me I think about it always" ~ Tonight, Sugarland
  6. What I started, I will finish
  7. I will not go down without a fight
  8. There will be many tough decisions along the way
  9. I will not lose touch with work/life balance

Oh the hats in Chi – happy new year

The beginning. Pajama party. The end. 2013. You have been good to me. Challenging. But good. Thank you 2013. Dear 2014, you better be fucking amazing. And epic. And completely amazing. And epic. My third year in Chi for New Years, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's snowing out, the air is thick with alcohol. It's New Year's! It's a stay in party. An all week prep for a warm cozy night with old friends and new friends, all good friends. I love this crowd. Especially when they put up with my southern ways. What a spread. The food, simply amazing. The wine. The beer. The whiskey (see, they do know the southern boy). North side Chi-town hardwood floors. Perfectly cleaned with love and elbow grease. The reward. Purple Cowboy! The whole place smelled of heaven. It's the end of the year. It's actually an end to a lot more. It's a start of a new year. A start of a new adventure. They say you can either sink or swim. And I say that you cannot do either if you don't get in the water. So I jump in. My life is changing drastically in the next few weeks, and in times like these, traditions of being with true friends as the ball drops, yeah - that's what keeps me alive and awake. He drinks a whisky drink The future is not always certain. But I do know that the days will march on. And if I choose to not react and simply let time fly by. And if I choose to have no passion. And if I choose to be in the audience rather than the show. Well, then. Fuck me, I'm screwed. He drinks a vodka drink People are real. I swear. Cross my heart. I just found out myself, therefore will completely understand if you have a hard time believing me. Really, they are living and breathing the same air as you. Even in 3D (without any special glasses), which is pretty cool if you ask me. But because of this, it also means they can get hurt. Which also means that they will bleed. It can happen. He drinks a lager drink Men shoveling snow. It's still snowing. Are you chasing your tail? Is anything ever complete? Back home it is leaves. Do I rake every time a leaf falls or do I wait until they are all laying dead on the ground.  If you wait, will the sun melt the snow, the wind blow the leaves away. I don't have time to wait. It must be now. He drinks a cider drink Smile. Do you know how fucking much it means to someone when you smile at them. Even if it's just a friendly passing smile in the airport. There's energy. Compassion. Love. A simple "Hey, how are you.?" Get your heads out of your text message. In person. Be there. In the NOW! He sings the songs that remind him I think this year has taught me one big lesson Love me, hate me, I don't care. But regardless, I will love you in some capacity. I've had the deepest conversations with people I had never met before. Partially because I just wanted to talk. Something on my mind. I'll never see them again, so what does it matter. I no longer believe in bull shit. Let it come out. You have friends and family when it becomes a life issue. But really, who is to say that a random stranger can't offer another view point that opens up the reality and help. Unbiased. Honest. True. Brutal sometimes. Of the good times Southern comfort. Some nights. I count my blessings every day that I wake up in a bed. And every cup of coffee I pour myself. And every pair of jeans I pull over my tired feet. He sings the songs that remind him Maybe I don't have the best plan. But I have a plan. And that plan is to work hard and play hard. And worker harder. And I refuse to go down without trying. And if I fail. Well. Then I try again. And if I fail. Well. Then I try again. And one day... Of the better times The year 2014 will not be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But. It will be real. And real is what I want. Need. Crave. So here's my real. Right in front of me. And I cannot do this without family and friends. Those that listen to my crazy ideas and support me. They may not believe in ny ideas, but they believe in me. It's balls to the wall. It's try to keep up or I'll leave you in my dust. To the hats in Chi, I love you. I live on the edge of insanity. You put up with me. I may act irresponsible. I'm the most grounded person you will probably ever meet. I got this shit. Yes, I fuck up often. I'll admit that when it happens. I'm out there. Trying. For me. If you want to go for a ride, hop in. Cheers & Happy New Year, Me (10)

The truth, just relax

Is there a Richter scale for stress? If so, this month would probably top the charts. There have been a lot of emotions floating around, possibilities, ideas, changes, and I failed. I failed because I did not look down. I failed because I forgot about my commitment. I failed because I closed my eyes. I failed because I forgot for 30 days what I did just over two years ago. Buckle up in the time machine, back to 2011. Managing multiple projects, multi city weeks - New York, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and vacation on the horizon. Vacation. Relax time. So I walked into the tattoo parlor and 30 minutes later, permanently engraved on the inside of my right wrist. My son held my hand, because, yeah, it fucking hurts. Then I left for the Caribbean. IMG_20130801_213836_454 Whimsical? Crazy? Maybe. But it has turned into a tool. A quick turn of the wrist and I calm down. A constant reminder. Deep breaths. It will all be OK. Those ten things you need to get done today, yeah, they will be there tomorrow. But I forgot to use my tool for almost the entire month of July. My relax failed. But it's back now. I got this. And here we are. I have a left wrist. And it's screaming for "Tonight"   To borrow from George Strait... "Just close your eyes and you can see" "Give it all we got tonight" "Anything can happen" "Trust it" "Drink up" "It should just happen like this"

An American in paradise, a mini series, part one

I haven't flown the "other" airlines in years, but I was pleasantly surprised this morning after letting the gate agent know that my connecting flight was international, I was moved ahead in the boarding line to ensure I would not have to gate check my bag.  Day one starts out good! It feels more like driving a lawnmower that a car, but I promise, that little four door super sub compact is a car. I have a map, thanks to the car rental agency, but I have no idea how to read historical documents, and with no GPS, I'm on my own, destine to get lost. The path from the airport to the resort should be easy, left out of the parking lot and right at the next three roundies, then go past the resort because a right turn is illegal there, do a u-turn and you're there. Somehow it worked. I'm all checked in and unpacked. A storm had blown up on the south side of the island and it's raining, but I don't really care, I'm surrounded by clear blue water, palm trees and sand. Time to venture out for groceries. Everything is apparently closed on Sunday as I try to pretend I have a sense of direction. I found a C-Store, get a few things and have no idea where I am. In the pouring rain, I somehow manage to navigate back but end up three miles past where I need to be. That doesn't seem bad, but on an island of 36 square miles, pathetic. I'll go look for a proper grocery store tomorrow. Time for a drink. Appropriately, I'm introduced to Old Man Punch, a slightly improved version of Rum Punch with the added flavor of guava, and a little bit stronger. Every bar needs a bar parrot. Gizmo is a scarlet macaw that perches on the back of barstools. She likes fruit and giving (bird) kisses and has stolen the heart of many men. She also likes Corona. I just might be in love, I mean, she's a pretty good conversationalist, but never talks back. We had a few too many and I spent the rest of the evening sleeping it off on the back porch, rocked gently by the sound of salty water slapping the sand. The sun is out today and I can't wait for the next adventure, after coffee, of course. Odd, but French Press on the Dutch side, oh well, it's tasty. I opted out of the $25 three hour bus tour of the island for the 5 hour get lost on your own tour, have rental car, will drive. Ten in the morning cruising Front Street in my lawnmower, um, compact car, and nothing is open yet. Time to explore. Keep the sea to the right and you'll be good. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of rolling mountains of green contrasting the bright blue waters as I wind up and down without a destination. I pass through Dutch Quarter and find myself at Dawn Beach where I park at the Westin and visit for a bit. A lovely bartender suggests a few destinations and a couple of safety tips as well as parking regulations in Phillipsburg (or, how not to get towed) as I swallow the last of my drink and bid farewell. I passed through Oyster Pond and stumbled upon a butterfly farm on my way to Orient Bay where I answered the question, "Why did I not bring swim trunks to the Caribbean?" My, those are some serious tan lines I have, I cannot stay too long, them parts will burn quick in the hot sun. Beach chair: $7 Sex on the Beach (the drink): $7 Sunbathing and swimming clothing optional: priceless (I love the French)! Enough of that for now, time to find swim trunks for the rest of the afternoon. Back to Front Street, I managed to find a decent parking spot, trunks and some Guavaberry Rum. In the process of determining which rum to purchase, I tasted about six, my favorites being the eight year old and the guava flavored. Passion fruit was pretty tasty as well. Which way was it to the car? I ended the shopping trip with a conversation with a shop tender about what I was buying for my girlfriend. Hmm, I replied, nothing as she is a bird at a bar. He laughed and we talked for another 30 minutes before I left. One quick stop for some punch and back to Little Bay I go. Dip me in these crystal blue waters, clothed this time. I spent the afternoon bobbing in the bay. I met up with Gizmo afterwards and we had dinner and a few drinks. Man, you really are popular when you are dating a bird. She finally admitted her age, 22, a little young, but age is unimportant, right? She got a little frisky tonight, biting my neck was a little too forward, so I asked her to slow down. How could I have missed it last night? I've retained the perfect westerly view of a Caribbean sunset. Propped on a rock just outside my back porch, I anxiously waited as the ball of fire dipped further and further into the horizon. Reflections. Number of times I've said no : 1 (beggars are everywhere, looking for a dollar to buy food or beer) Number of times I had to stop due to an iguana in the road: 2 (one was easily 4 feet long) Number of beach bars I have visited this far: 3 (Le Malibu my favorite) Number of times I thought twice about nude sunbathing: 4 (Side note for all you guys out there... It is a total non-sexual experience, quite the opposite of your dreams) Number of Rum Punchs I can consume before feeling tipsy: 5 Number of times I have been lost: 6 Number of people I have said good morning to that don't speak english: 7 Number of hillsides I have seen with goats grazing: 8 Number of times I have checked Facebook even though I said I was not going to: 9 Number of times I did not need a reminder to relax: 10 Be gentle, I have no spell check on this device I'm writing on. Part deuce arriving soon, cheers my friends from paradise.