• Books,  Books Reviews,  Writing

    Best Books of 2016 Compilation

    Maybe 2016 was an all-out Dumpster Fire for you. Maybe it wasn’t. Either way, you probably missed some great books as the months sped by. I have compiled a resource list to help you choose your next book (a best book) before 2017 takes over and you have to keep up with those. I have broken them into some categories to make it easier to peruse. Perhaps you like Award winners. Committees form, discuss, celebrate a winner. Man Booker Award winners are usually great books for me because they are often quirky. However, they do not allow Americans to enter, so if you want an American experience, go instead with…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    2016 in review

    I had some big goals for 2016. Most of the goals were reasonable, but still some entirely unreasonable ones snuck in. These were the goals I wasn’t going to hold myself to because I had no control over other people’s actions, but I couldn’t help but keep these outlandish expectations as a yardstick. Maybe I watched too much Parks & Rec because I made a binder for my Writing Year, made quarterly goals, and decorated it with stickers. Some of my goals I now see as unrealistic (like blog 4 times a week. Who has time for that?), and some of them I forgot to write down, because I didn’t…

  • holiday spirits
    Happy Hour,  Writing

    Holiday Spirits 2

    December can feel like the movie Groundhog’s Day at times, donning the same clothes, going to the same parties every year. But you know what can change all of that? Fancy Boozes, that’s what. Here are two more recipes to freshen up your Holiday Spirit. The Oatmeal Cookie Some may know this as a shot, others appreciate the sophisticated shape of the martini glass it is served in. Either way, be careful with the amount of alcohol in this one. They go down fast and easy. 1.5 oz Bailey’s (Irish Cream) 3/4 oz Buttershots 1/4 oz Goldschlager 1/2-1 oz cream cinnamon & sugar Option: rim the glass with a mixture of…

  • Happy Hour,  Lifestyle

    Holiday Spirits

    I love a nice cocktail: the kind with quality liquor and good balance. As big as the cocktail revolution has been in the past few years, it is surprising to me that while there are plenty of “fancy” drink recipes out there, many are sticky-sweet and faddish, lacking the depth of real “spirits.” Dare I say, Holiday Spirits? I’m not saying that every cocktail has to be made with Top Shelf brands, but some nuance of flavor is nice.  While a chocolate martini is fine and dandy, I prefer the ones that make me feel like I’m indulging in a high-end dark chocolate truffle, not smearing my face with squeezable Hershey’s…

  • Romanian Rib
    Adventure,  Travel,  Writing

    Romanian Rib – Red Rocks

    There are many sports metaphors that equate to struggle. Marathons, extra innings, overtime: all of these immediately conjure up the physical struggle of a human being. But perhaps we need a sports metaphor for the less demanding endurance trail. Romanian Rib could be just such a metaphor for patience. Romanian Rib is a specific route near Red Rocks National Park. The climb itself is about 1000 feet of vertical. There is a parking lot on the side of the road, and a marked, maintained trail for about half of the 1.5 mile hike-in to the base of Romanian Rib. That morning we got started a little later than usual, despite our promises…

  • Red Rocks
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel

    Red Rocks

    Red Rocks is an incredible formation of sandstone 15 miles outside of Las Vegas. One of the best things about a trip to Red Rocks is that all of the gambling and drinking of Vegas tourists subsidize the inevitably less expensive food and lodging of a climbing trip. We stayed at an AirBnB on the West side of Vegas, near Red Rocks, big enough to have plenty of room for four people. Though only 15-20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, we were also 15 minutes from the garage to touching sandstone rock. The first day we arrived, Andy ran up Mount Wilson (I do not use the word “run” in…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle

    Hurricane Matthew

    The Savannah Film Fest was this last week: an eight-day film extravaganza in the always quaint downtown. This same town which rolled out the red carpet despite having weathered Hurricane Matthew only two weeks prior. While our house (built in 1936) managed the storm just fine, I wanted to post images of what my neighborhood looked like once we were allowed back after the evacuation. Downtown was hit much harder than we were, though we were without power for four days. Please note that I am not a photographer. When I took these photos, I was sending them to friends who had not yet returned, who wanted to see the conditions they would…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Big Climb Prep

    In a few weeks, we are going to Red Rocks outside Las Vegas to climb. Not much for gambling, we will be subsidized by all the people do: cheap flights, cheap places to stay, easy food. I have to admit something too–I am not a great climber. Nor particularly good. Aaaaand I don’t really climb very often. (There is a sincere dearth of elevation near Savannah). For the past week or so we’ve been practicing for my benefit. I have my own rope length to practice my knots, and while I watch TV or listen to podcasts, I tie and untie my handful of knots.   I keep all of my…

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