Tuesday, October 30, 2018

[chill]y start to fall

they say you should do one thing that scares you everyday....

i don't really buy into that.  i'm more of a once-a-month-one-thing-that-scares-me kind of guy.

to balance that though, i really believe you should do one thing a month that sends chills down your spine.  for me, it was having the privilege of seeing neko case in concert again.  her voice alone will do it for me, but when you add in her lyrics along with the sense of nostalgia i get when she sings, it was full on chills that september night.  i enjoyed hearing my favorites and fully fell in love with several songs from her newest album, which have been on heavy rotation since.  i enjoy when seasons have beginnings and neko started off fall for me with a perfect chill.

much like doing something that scares you, gives you a feeling of being alive and helps you avoid getting stuck in a rut, i think getting chills is just a little natural reminder that you're out there experiencing life!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

dats alotta [sandwhich]

i love road side attractions.

sometimes they're strange land forms, unique structures or historic sites, but more often then not it's an object or animal that seems to vastly different than most other object like it.  you often hear "the world's largest...", "the worlds deepest..", "the worlds smallest..", etc etc ect.  if i'm on the road and see a sign for one of these attractions, you can bet i'm going to stop and check it out.  now imagine my delight when one of these events basically came to me.

last month the city of portland, maine decided to create the world's largest ham italian.

a little back story for those unfamiliar with this type of sandwich.

to make a long story short, back in the day, a baker named giovanni amato was selling bread to the dock workers of portland.  by request, he started adding sliced meat and vegetables to the bread making a simple ham sandwich.  since he was italian, they became known as ham italians.  he sold so many he eventually opened a restaurant.  over one hundred years later it's a staple in the state of maine, with his store still going strong as well as several other deli's selling their version of the sandwich.

i was introduced to these sandwiches last year by a friend of mine who is a true "mainer."  being the type of guy who loves local culture and wanting to embrace my new home, as well as thinking it's a pretty damn tasty sandwich, i've become a true fan, belonging to several on-line social media groups filled with ham italian fan-dom.

imagine my excitement when it was announce that a group was organizing an effort to create the world's largest ham itailian.  food! local culture! world record!  there was no way i was going to miss this.  i took an early lunch that day and met up with my wife to head down to the square where it was taking place.  as i turned the corner of the street i saw 177 feet of italian bread.  several deli's would make different sections of the sandwich until it was completed.  as they piled on the sliced ham, veggies, oil and vinegar, i was scoping out which section i would like to try.  as it's not really too complicated of a sandwich to make, the event didn't take long.  i grabbed a couple of slices, sat back and enjoyed my ham itailian.  

not only did i get to try a few varieties of the sandwich from different deli's but there were several other ham italian "fans", who oddly all looked exactly like me, doing the same thing.  i chatted with many of them and now follow several of them on instagram.

in the end, it wasn't an "official" world record as the proper judges weren't there, but the sense of community felt that day was something special.  although this event is pretty much incapable of become a road side attraction i do believe photos of the event will be placed in the local museum under the "ham italian" exhibit.

yes, it's a real thing. be sure to grab a ham italian and check it out.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

make your [parents] happy little [parents]

there was one thing in this life i swore i would never do.

last month i did it...and it wasn't that bad.

there is currently a very trendy activity you can find in almost any town that involves going to a studio and painting a picture someone else has already done.  that's right, you pay to copy someone's work.  for the life of me i couldn't understand the appeal of this.  if you wanted to paint, just go buy a canvas, some paints and create your own!  even worse, couples go to these classes!  at the end of the night you end up with two pieces of art that aren't really yours!  (i always imagined couples going home and fighting about which one goes on the wall!)

point is, i am not a fan of these classes and never planned on attending one.

my mom, however, LOVES them.

during my parents visit last month, my wife suggested i take my mom to one of these classes to spend some quality time with her.  i assumed she was joking, as she knows my opinion on these painting classes.  however, i knew exactly why she had suggested this; it was no secret to me that she had always wanted to take one of these painting classes and had bugged me for years to go with her.  thinking i could do the whole two birds with one stone thing i agreed to go, so we all three got singed up.

entering the studio and finding "my" easel, i was hesitant and not all that thrilled to be there.  however there was a bar and enjoying a beer before class started simmered me down a bit.  the class was pretty much what i expected.  they painted, we watched, we painted, monkey see, monkey do.  what i didn't expect was looking over at my mom and seeing how happy she was.  she was having a blast AND she was pretty damn good!  she was so thrilled to have us both there, painting with her, it immediately changed my perspective, and i started to enjoy the night.

near the end of the session, it hit me why my mom loved these classes so much.  there's something very zen-like about listening to someone describe how to paint, it's very relaxing, it's very bob ross-i-en.  painting in this class was basically my moms yoga, it was her way of clearing her mind.  she was simply switching out poses and asanas for palettes and acrylics.

all in all, it was a wonderful little adventure. spending quality time with my mom was priceless and one of my favorite parts of their trip.  although my opinion has changed slightly about these classes, it doesn't change the fact that we still ended up with THREE versions of the same painting that night. 

now we just have to decided who's goes on the wall.

"don't forget to tell these special people in your life just how special they are to you" - bob ross

love you mom.