Friday, November 9, 2018

Life Before The Internet

Given how we live today, sharing pictures of coffee on social media, it's hard to remember the fabric of life before the Internet. And yet that existed, for me and everyone else older than thirty.

I got my first e-mail address in 1996. Surprisingly compared to most people, I still use that address (although the company-name changed three times when the business was sold and sold). When did you first get e-mail?

The fact of this sea-change in personal and social experience occurred to me this morning, ironically while reading Facebook. An acquaintance made mention of one of the best television shows ever made ("Yes, Minister" and its sequel "Yes, Prime Minister"). "Yes, Minister" was a British political satire far smarter than anything American TV had the guts to produce. Its lead-actor was one of the most talented, acclaimed thespians ever to act on television, Nigel Hawthorne.

"Yes, Minister" was broadcast in the early Eighties. I watched it on the single television channel here that showed British comedies (where I was also introduced to "Monty Python's Flying Circus").

Nigel Hawthorne performed in dozens of movies, television shows and theatrical dramas. You've probably have seen him in small roles without realizing it. In 1994, Nigel starred as the lead in "The Madness of King George" for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

I was a big fan of "Yes, Minister" so when I heard Nigel was going to perform on the Broadway stage in 1990, I leapt at the chance to see him in person. He was amazing. He played author C.S. Lewis in the play "Shadowlands." (The play was later turned into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, both getting Oscar nominations.)

The story climaxes with the death of Nigel's character's true love. Raging with grief, Nigel howls to the Moon in agony. Being physically in the room as this legendary actor bawled with extreme emotion was moving beyond words. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Nigel won the Tony award for that performance, deserved recognition for exceptional achievement.

At the time -- 1990 -- there was no social media to write about my memorable experience. No blog-post, Facebook note or other record now exists to memorialize it. The only place it continues to exist is in my mind. That feels odd now.

If you drink a cup of coffee and don't post a picture, did it really happen?

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Birthday Pen

For my birthday, I requested something special -- a new Montblanc pen designed by Marc Newson. Newson is the most acclaimed designer of our generation. His work is in museums around the world and he's represented by the prominent Gagosian Gallery in New York. TIME magazine named Newson one of the 100 Most Influential People.

Newson designed this pen for Montblanc where it's sold to benefit a charity named (RED) which raised $46 million for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Robin and I visited our local Montblanc boutique yesterday where they treat us like royalty. I wanted this pen for its vibrant red color. Handling the pen increases its appeal -- not only does it feel good in your hand but the cap is magnetic and moves toward the pen with pleasant gravitation. The pen feel magically sensuous.

Now I have an instrument to write you with!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Happy Birthday To Me

It's my birthday!!

I've always cared about my birthdays and had the good luck to have a mother who fussed over them. My memories of childhood birthday parties are fond. Cake, gifts and celebration.

In my mind, I'm 40 years old so let's just call this the 20th anniversary of that date.  :-)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Looking Back At The Year

Wow, this year flew by. It's November already and 2018 is almost at its end.

When we started the year, did you make any New Year's resolutions? Or just think about how you wanted the year to go? If so, what are your thoughts now? How well did the year compare to your hopes and expectations?

My review is positive. I clarified how I want to live the rest of my life and made concrete plans to turn that desire into reality. I'm 60 years old and looking at 20-30 years (assuming good health). I know exactly what makes me happy (friends, travel, motorcycling, living authentically, writing, blogging) and what pains me (work and its stress). The trick is to find a way to do more of the former and less of the latter, which is really a financial issue. As soon as I can afford to stop working, I will -- but I need a stockpile of cash to live for another 30 years without diminution of lifestyle. That's the goal I worked on this year and I made real progress.

How 'bout you?

P.S., Bonus points if you can identify the building in NYC with this statue.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Bevy of Brushes

My birthday is Saturday and some of my friends have sent gifts. Among my favorites are mermaid makeup brushes from my good pal Ashley.

These brushes are so cute! And timely: my existing brushes are a decade old and I'd just been thinking about replacing them. Ashley read my mind.

Have you ever seen anything so adorable?!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What To Do With Your Pumpkin

I used to feel bad about discarding decorative pumpkins after Halloween. This year I pondered an alternative fate -- and found one.

Pumpkins are vegetables. You can eat them! They're safe to eat raw but taste much better cooked. And cooking them couldn't be easier. Just bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. They taste like juicy zucchini.

Before popping them into the oven coat them with some olive oil and salt. I experimented and made two batches. The ones on the right are plain and the ones on the left were tossed with Tamari soy sauce and spicy hot sauce. Both were nice; I prefer the spicy ones.

Once cooked you can throw pumpkin chunks into any dish. They're also good topped with salad dressing. Pumpkin is healthy with practically no calories.

Have you ever eaten pumpkin?