Archive for holidays

The Night before Christmas

Posted in Creative Writing, Friends and Family with tags , , on December 24, 2014 by Verge

Tonight my parents come to visit.

We serve dinner and they bring gifts.

Afterwards, my wife hears stories from the source

that shed light on why I am the man I am.

My earliest memories are of passion…

anger and love the same.

They impressed me for a lifetime.

We’ve set up our tree for eight years in a row.

My in-laws just one time.

And as crooked as it may be,

it’s still the warmest thing to me.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Day Three – Buffalo Trace, Town Branch, Evan Williams

Posted in Distilling, Friends and Family, Good Times, Reflections, Vacations with tags , , on July 26, 2014 by Verge

After a busy first three distilleries on a guided tour, we decided to head out and explore on our own.  Buffalo Trace used to be on the official trail, but it isn’t anymore.  We went anyway early in the morning to check out their delicious libations.  Then we headed out to another official stop in Lexington and included a tour of their brewery as well.  Town Branch was the most modern facility on the tour, but it was well worth the trip.  I doesn’t have the charm of a 150 year old distillery, but it was a really great tour and our host, Steve, was hilarious.  Then we headed back to downtown Louisville to go on the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience tour, which is kind of like Disney for bourbon drinkers.

 

We had vegan chilli dogs and cole slaw for dinner like true Americans at the local ice cream stand

 

Then we watched some fireworks with our new friends (our hosts from BnB and their chickens) while sipping bourbon on the back porch until the middle of the night, and lit off some of our own.

We really couldn’t have planned for a better Independence Day than they way this trip turned out.  We got to see a ton of distilleries by this point, met some great people and hung out at a bunch of local places, and met some really great people.  And got to blow shit up drunk in the middle of Louisville.  Can’t wait to go back.

Sam’s Birthday – Hibachi and Whiskey – AKA How to Throw a Birthday Party

Posted in Daily Pictures, Friends and Family, Good Times, Reflections with tags , on April 21, 2014 by Verge

Sam’s birthday usually lasts a month.  It’s getting more difficult to make that happen with all of us together.  We’ve all got multiple jobs that conflict with themselves, let alone jive with all of our schedules.  But, once in a while, we can make this happen:

Reasonably Polite Dinner with Friends (whisper the dirty jokes, and make sure the birthday girl doesn’t pay the bill)

 

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Toasts and Candles and Cake and Kisses (every party needs them, and kisses can be bites! )

Group Poses (because at this point, you might not remember everything, nor should you)

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Inevitable Dancing (notice, I’m the photographer, not the dancer)

Sappy Walsh Reflection About Friendship and Life

Birthday parties, Easter, weddings, Passover, New Years, Hanukkah and Christmas, Valentines Day, anniversaries.  It’s easy to let these events grow stale.  Let’s face it, they happen every single year, year after year.  And even though I do think that my birthday is just another day of the week, and another number of my life, there is something more.

I recently bought a new laptop.  I had to copy every digital photo I have ever shot  from my old drive to the new one.  All 81.1 Gigs, all 661 folders, all 30,263 individual photographs.  Every one represents some moment in my past that I chose to keep, to remember, to hold onto.

Because, in life, you can’t hold onto everything or everyone forever.  My blog is something that reminds me of all the amazing times I’ve shared with the people in my life.  And birthday parties, no matter how old you are, no matter how you don’t “need” a party, are a golden opportunity to align our busy schedules and figure out a way to to get back together with the people we love.  And…sometimes (just sometimes)…just dance.

The Cycle of Seasons and My Life

Posted in Reflections with tags , , , on December 18, 2013 by Verge

Half a year.  What a difference.  We end Summer in anticipation of harvest.  It’s time to relax, time to enjoy what we have, time to enjoy family and friends.  Because others don’t have nearly the life we get to enjoy.  Others don’t even get to laugh, to smile, to be together.  Often, we take it for granted.

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And Autumn sets in.   It’s odd we have such a reverence for the beauty of dying.  But we all know things end.  Leaves fall.  Life dies.  We learn to relish the beauty of inevitable end.

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As things get colder, things sometimes seem stranger.  Unusual and unexpected things can happen in the dark.  Things you never even knew were possible.  And sometimes they can scare the shit out of you.  It’s odd that I’m afraid of the dark.  Always have been.  Ever since I can remember.  And even more ironic that I now work in a pitch black dark room for a living, alone, isolated with my thoughts of what might take hold of me.

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sometimes it can really freak me out.  I know the movies I watched when I was younger were just entertainment.  All fun and games, right?   It’s not really happening.  But for some reason, I took things too seriously.  I believed those things might happen.   Something or someone might grab my ankle as I lay in bed one night.  And that would absolutely give me an immediate heart attack.

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So I try to remind myself it’s all an act, it’s all for entertainment.  People get hurt, but at the end of the story, everyone gets up unfazed.   Everything is still fine.  No one really gets hurt.  And we get to do it all over again next weekend.  Next movie in my life.

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The end of Autumn comes and permanent changes set it.  The cold inevitably arises.  But there are always traditions that make us all feel warm.   Like a family.  That always makes loneliness feel fleeting.  We’re all together…and happy.  So nothing could harm us anymore.  So, together, we look forward to the holidays, the new year, and amazing memories that have yet to be made with each other.

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And things are warm.  But winter storms arrive.   Things shut down.  We end up stuck at home, isolated from the world.  We don’t even want to go out into the frozen world outside.  It’s just easier to stay in bed all day.  Alone, in the dark.   That’s where it’s safe.   We can ignore the outside world, the reality of bad weather.

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But I don’t ever believe that Spring isn’t coming.  It will always be warm again.  Storms come and go, but the seasons never end.  You can’t turn back time.  There are no U-turns.   Instead, you move ahead, convinced that Winter will only last so long, that things will be brought back to life and are only temporarily frozen.   More memories will be made.  More pictures will be taken.  More blogs will be written (cause that’s what makes me feel normal).  More good times to remember together.  I have to convince myself that we should never be afraid of the dark.  I have faith that there will always be light after darkness.  Such brightness.

New Year’s Day Mummers Parade in Philly 2013

Posted in Daily Pictures, Good Times with tags , , on April 8, 2013 by Verge
some damned fancy mother f'ers

Okay, so we had a hell of a party at our house New Year’s Eve. But, for the first time in my life, we decided to try to make it to the Mummer’s Parade in Center City, Philadelphia. It was a groggy morning, but we made it to the train, and made it to the parade.

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I’m glad we did, even though it was kind of shot lived. We were a bit hung over, but really, who wasn’t. We got a spot right on the parade line, and tried to hold ourselves together, with the help of a flask.

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It truly is iconic, being only a few blocks away from City Hall. I’ve lived in NYC before, but I’ll always feel like Philly is my home.

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We got to hang out with my friend Chris, whom we hadn’t seen in a very long time, and it was a great time to reconnect with old friends. Sam decided it was high time to be reckless, jump barriers, do shots, and climb lamp posts. That’s how you know you’re doing it right.

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This was after I freaked, and told Sam we were going to get arrested. In reality, we probably weren’t the most drunk people on the parade route, but those bands really know how to party. Eventually, we crawled back to the train and back to Atco. First parade in Philly ever, and I think we should do it again next year. We must gather redemption.

Christmas Day 2012 Hike with Friends

Posted in Daily Pictures, Friends and Family, Good Times, Hiking and Camping with tags , , on April 8, 2013 by Verge
We went exploring on Christmas Day, after opening some gifts we had gotten each other.  Two of my favorite local abandoned places.

We went exploring on Christmas Day, after opening some gifts we had gotten each other. Two of my favorite local abandoned places.

This is inside one of the abandoned trains down at Winslow Junction.  Since I've been coming here, the amount of cars has slowly gone down, I assume because they are being scrapped.  there was once at least a hundred cars, but now there's maybe a dozen.

This is inside one of the abandoned trains down at Winslow Junction. Since I’ve been coming here, the amount of cars has slowly gone down, I assume because they are being scrapped. there was once at least a hundred cars, but now there’s maybe a dozen.

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Monika, Ehsan and Sam, who had “found” herself a hell of a walking stick.

And, the inside of the other abandoned location, a former recycling plant.  It used to be filled with garbage 25 feet high, but it's now cleared out, so something is happening there, although I have no idea what yet.  We had to cleverly gain access.

And, the inside of the other abandoned location, a former recycling plant. It used to be filled with garbage 25 feet high, but it’s now cleared out, so something is happening there, although I have no idea what yet. We had to cleverly gain access.

You can see all four of my hiking companions in this photo.  Looks like it should be the cover of an album, in my opinion.  Christmas Day with friends, hiking.  Nothing I wanted to do more.

You can see all four of my hiking companions in this photo. Looks like it should be the cover of an album, in my opinion. Christmas Day with friends, hiking. Nothing I wanted to do more.

Hannukah 2012 @ The Shanfeld Lounge

Posted in Daily Pictures, Friends and Family, Good Times with tags , on April 3, 2013 by Verge
we had a family get together for Hanukkah 2012.  Most of it took place in the newly remodeled Shanfeld Lounge!

we had a family get together for Hanukkah 2012. Most of it took place in the newly remodeled Shanfeld Lounge!

What respectable lounge is without a piano?

What respectable lounge is without a piano?

We had wonderful entertainment, courtesy of Eddie "Silk,"

We had wonderful entertainment, courtesy of Eddie “Silk,”

and Yvette doing a duo!

and Yvette doing a duo!

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