Things of Note
After a long layoff involving two weeks of vacation, traffic school, birthday(s?), weddings, etc I am back.
I was invited to sail around one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the British and US Virgin Islands, with my wife and some of my closest friends. Not many people get the opportunity to go on a trip like this, so here are the main highlights of a sailing trip:
Sail-Sail-SAIL-EAT-SAIL-SAIL-SNORKEL-HAPPY HOUR- ICE CREAM-SAIL-SAIL-EAT MORE-SAIL-PLAY GAMES-REPEAT
Oh yeah, and gain almost 10 pounds in 10 days.
On a serious note, I would like to sincerely thank my best friend and my second family the Hicoks for allowing us to tag along on this amazing trip. Some highlights include the Baths at Virgin Gorda, grabbing rum from an actual distillery, and snorkeling at The Indians.
Picks (Home Team in CAPS):
To finish up the football season I went 1-1 with my Superbowl picks. Now I get to try my luck at NBA lines (yeah, I don't watch ANY college basketball, so no bracket here).
Brooklyn Nets +9 at the BOSTON CELTICS- Isaiah Thomas is out, the Nets always play their division rivals tough. Also, they will do anything to spoil their unprotected pick. I am going against the grain on this one.
Houston Rockets -4.5 over the NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
PHOENIX SUNS -2.5 over the Orlando Magic- The Magic are playing on back to back nights coming off of a beat down by the Warriors.
My bets this year: 6-7
What I'm Eating (again): Mora Italian
I told you I would be back with a good review! The opening night for Mora was a huge success, and we even got to meet Chef Scott Conant in person! Excuse the blurryness:
They have a good cocktail menu (Rosé snow cone, what??), bottled wine and on tap, and great food for sharing.
I would recommend all of the following: Grilled Scollipine of Beef Short Rib, Riccotta Fritters with Spiced Honey, and of course the Bread Cart and Salted Caramel Budino.
What I'm Reading: Escape to Another World and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
I finished a book I have been waiting to read for a long time, John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. This book has quickly become one of my favorite fictional novels of all time. If anyone is into spy thrillers, this is one of the classics from the author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Escape to Another World by Ryan Avent looks at, among other things, a trend in young males (and females) who are happily taking jobs that would be considered underemployment... so that they can play video games. This piece is eye-opening for anyone who thinks this situation I just described is ridiculous.
Here is the (very well written) final paragraph, I think it gives just enough to entice:
"A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective. But what does seem clear is that the choices we make in life are shaped by the options available to us. A society that dislikes the idea of young men gaming their days away should perhaps invest in more dynamic difficulty adjustment in real life. And a society which regards such adjustments as fundamentally unfair should be more tolerant of those who choose to spend their time in an alternate reality, enjoying the distractions and the succour it provides to those who feel that the outside world is more rigged than the game."
What I'm Watching: This is Us and Logan
First, I still think This Is Us unabashedly panders to the most emotional segment of TV watchers. There's nothing wrong with that. I am learning to love the moments where I find myself laughing at the predictable plot turn and Wifey is fighting back tears.
The uncut shot of Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore (Jack and Rebecca) fighting after a long quiet car ride home was incredible. The range of emotion felt so real! Well, until they cut from screaming at each other to a completely calm and controlled goodnight. Still, bravo to the actors and crew that put that brief masterpiece together.
One last thing: Jack absolutely deserves a beating when he plays one hand of poker and then bails after he takes the mobster's money. You don't pull that move in casinos, friend's houses, and ESPECIALLY mob games in the back of a pub.
Rating 0/10 tears shed for that guy.
9/10. Great movie. A little gory (better to go with fans than significant others who can be squeamish with R-rated violence). This was the best (and hopefully final) X-Men movie in the current franchise.
It really captured the character's innate violence and the sadness that comes with it. It gets into what has haunted Wolverine for his extremely long life. Major props to Hugh Jackman's range from Broadway to superhero:
He is awesome.
What I'm Drinking: Tuck Shop Kitchen & Bar Cocktails
Wifey and I had 3 equally amazing cocktails last night for my birthday dinner:
- No. 17 nikka coffey malt whiskey (love this, I wrote about loving this whisky here), st george nola, dolin rouge & soy sauce
- No. 25 tito’s vodka, el silencio mezcal, maraschino, lemon & pomegranate rosemary syrup (*drooling on my keyboard)
- No. 27 kikori japanese whiskey, plum wine, kina l’aero apertif & saffron bitters
The deeper I dive into the Japanese whisky, the more I fall in love. For anybody looking for a great cocktail lounge, this place is absolutely worth checking out.
What I'm Listening to: i by Kendrick Lamar
It was just one of those weeks where I have to put this song on at some point every day. The single is great, but the live version on the album To Pimp a Butterfly is also worth checking out because of the unexpected turn at the end of the song.
I missed doing this. I like stretching myself, and this is definitely something that I am still not comfortable doing.
When Allie asked me what I want to do in 2017 I thought of all of the normal things: work out, play bass better, save more money, blahblahblah. Then I thought about writing and trying to generate meaningful content. This is one of my bigger goals that I'll be focusing on for the next year.
At some point in the near future, I am going to attempt posting a few deep dives. A couple of ideas right now include local politics, a recap of the Suns season, maybe even a few bass covers.
As always, thank you for caring enough to read to this point. Feel free to reach out with any thoughts or recommendations.