Let the wind be with you

by Lorin Michel Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:08 PM

I have long been fascinated with the windy city, even before I met my husband who is from the Chicago area. I first visited it with him before we were married when we went to celebrate his birthday in early December and to see a football game. Bears v. Bills. That year, probably 1996, the Bears sucked as they do so many years. But they beat the Bills. It was a good game, sitting outside at Soldier Field. Mostly dry, with a couple of flurries and the ever-present wind. It was cold but not bitter. I would get warm by going to stand in the restroom where blowers blasted hot air.

This past December 2010, we were again in Chicago. This time we went to celebrate both of our birthdays. It was cold, windy, rainy and finally delivered white-out blizzard conditions. Once again we sat outside at Soldier Field as we prepared to watch the Bears and the Patriots. Both teams were having a great year, though the Pats kicked the Bears furry little butts all over the snow-covered field. Still, it was a fabulous trip.

I’ve never been to Chicago when it’s not winter and cold unless you count flying through O’Hare to change planes. I remember doing that years and years ago, before I knew Kevin. The weather was descending right behind the plane. The sky was black with a storm and light flashed behind the dark clouds. Lightning was approaching and fast. I was probably flying United because in those days all flights on United with a final destination of the east coast meant touching down in O’Hare, a United hub. I was on my way to Boston. As the sky got blacker, the board showed many flights being canceled. We got out; we were the last flight.

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My luggage stayed behind and arrived some time the next day.

I know it’s windy; I know they’re partial to storms. But Chicago, founded in 1933, is one of the world’s top ten global financial centers. It is ranked by Forbes as the world’s fifth most economically powerful city. It is known for pizza, gangsters like Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, the great fire of 1871, and in 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building, the Home Insurance Building. The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the John Hancock Center are two of the tallest buildings currently. There is the Second City, and Grant Park, and Lincoln Park which is both a suburb and a band, and Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue. And then, of course, there’s jazz. And there is nothing like Chicago jazz. Raw, expressive, sensual, sexual and completely, totally alive. It pulses through you like a heart beat.

For no reason and every reason, I celebrate one of my favorite cities tonight. It popped into my head, though it is never far from my heart. 

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live out loud

A brief history of wine labels

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:32 PM

I’m not generally a big fan of labels. We tend to use them to define people and I like to think that people are beyond such easy categorization. But labels do serve a very real purpose when applied to products and especially to wine. They allow you to know exactly what’s inside a bottle, where it came from, and may even tell you a story about how it was made. It’s called the marketing blurb. And it is there to make you feel good about what you’ve purchased.

When it comes to wine, the feel good part is fairly easy. I have been drinking wine long enough, and have learned enough about it through visits to wineries, discussions with winemakers, reading and tasting that I know what things I like to see on a label. I’ve mentioned that our current fascination is with any red sporting the year 2007 on its label, especially if it’s a Syrah or a Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc. I also look for wineries whose quality I know is superior. We’re partial to California wines, and Napa Valley and Santa Ynez specifically. Certain regions of Napa are best: Stag’s Leap and Rutherford produce great grapes. We always stay away from any labels saying Coastal because we know the grape quality is inferior.

Wine labels can be works of art. Colorful, expressive, and eye-catching which is key because most people are not wine connoisseurs. They like wine and they know what kind of wine they like. White wine drinkers like a Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay. Then they begin drinking reds but start with lighter varietals. Pinot Noir, Merlot, Burgundy, Chianti and Shiraz before graduating to Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. But they don’t always know specific wineries or vintages so a great label can make a sale.

Wine labels have been around for centuries. They first made an appearance in Greece around 4000 BC when wine was considered a gift from the gods, especially the god of wine, Dionysus. King Tutankhamen’s tomb contained wine jars with wine labels. They had enough detail to meet some present day label laws including the name, the year and amount. Many wine labels that came after consisted of writings on parchment tied to the neck of a bottle with twine. By the 1700s, labels were designed on a stone. Ink was then applied and a roller transferred it to paper. By 1798, lithography had been invented and wine labels could be printed in mass quantities. As winemakers gained more and more pride in the quality of their wines, creating the perfect label to show it off became more and more important. Designs and especially color became prevalent.

1950 was the year that things really began to change. Thanks to an Italian law dictating that certain information had to appear, each label began to show the wine producer or brand, the bottler, the region and country of origin, quality classification, vintage year, bottle volume, alcohol content, sulphite content and a warning label that pregnant women shouldn’t drink. Many also carry the marketing blurb though it's not mandatory.

Several years ago, Kevin and I started to dabble in wine making. We bought some rudimentary equipment including carboys, storage containers, a corker and more. Our first batch was a cab-merlot blend, the second was a straight cabernet. Each batch gave us about two cases. It wasn’t great, but it taught us a lot. Interestingly we’ve let several bottles age in the wine cellar and they’ve recently gotten much better.

Our wine needed a label. Our friends Roy and Bobbi designed one for us and it’s fabulous; all about the look, the color, and the shelf appeal. If we ever make the big time, we’re going to be in the running for label of the year. I just know it.

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live out loud

A brief history of wine bottles

by Lorin Michel Monday, May 23, 2011 10:46 PM

When last we left our courageous wine drinkers – that would be Kevin and I – we were raising a glass and toasting the light after discovering the glorious history of wine. Today it only makes sense to continue that exploration by taking a look back at wine bottles and how wine came to be stored in those long, cylindrical, easily binned (stacked) works of art.

The first winemakers of Mesopotamia and Egypt used clay flasks to store their liquids. The oldest wine jar dates back to 5400 – 5000 BC and includes the vineyard’s name, the type of wine and the vintage. Wine jars were used for thousands of years, through the Grecian wine trades, until the Roman’s got into the game. Among the many things the Romans developed while in power was the art of glass blowing. Glass was quickly found to be a good medium for storing wine because it didn’t affect the wine’s flavor and was easy to see through so drinkers could see how much was inside. That part hasn’t changed. What was difficult was maintaining bottle size consistency. This explains why buyers would bring their own containers to market and buy a measured amount of wine to be carried away in their own container.

As time progressed, so did bottle making. Colored glass was introduced in different shapes and sizes. Many of the original wine bottles were onion shaped because they were the easiest to blow, but wine makers and merchants soon discovered that longer, flatter shapes were better for storing wine on its side. By the 1800s, standard-sized bottles were introduced. Depending on the region, 700 ml or 750 ml were chosen, with the maximum size standard bottle being around 800 ml. Magnums and other special sizes didn’t yet exist.

As for corks, we thank the Brits.

The word bottle comes from the old French word boteille by way of the vulgar Latin butticula and the late Latin buttis meaning “cask.” These casks eventually became more standardized in terms of specific shapes for specific varietals. Burgundy style bottles have sloped shoulders and are generally used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. High shouldered bottles, known as Bordeaux style, are used for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Hock style, very tall and thin with sloped shoulders, are for Reislings and Gewurztraminer. Then there is the Syrah shape. Big, fat, heavy, sitting low and steady, with shoulders that slope practically to the counter. This is my favorite bottle because it’s my favorite wine. Its bottle matches its personality perfectly.

“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.” I wish I could take credit for saying that because it’s how I feel. But it was Thomas Jefferson who gave voice to my feelings so many years ago. I like to think that one of the fathers of our country, the author of the declaration of independence and the third president, was drinking a nice red as he said that. Poured from a beautiful bottle.

Unfortunately it was probably French. But seeing as how brilliant he was in all other matters, and because California had not yet begun to grow grapes, I’ll give him his Bordeaux.

I celebrate the wine bottle. I celebrate its ability to transcend time, and to allow the most phenomenal wines to age beautifully without growing old. If only we were all so lucky.

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Just my type

by Lorin Michel Thursday, May 19, 2011 10:16 PM

I grew up at a time when high schools actually offered typing as a class. Granted, an easy class for an easy grade, which is why I took it. I wasn’t lazy in school and got mostly As. But typing just seemed like a quick way to get a credit toward graduation. So I took the class during my sophomore year. I think, but can’t remember if, we had electric typewriters.

I learned the home row, with the small dots on the F and the J. Even modern computer keyboards have those place-finders, because that’s what they are. It tells you by feel exactly where to place your fingers for maximum access to the upper and the lower rows. Left hand, from pinky in, has fingers on ASDF, right hand, pinky in is ;LKJ. I remember learning those letters/symbols and typing words using only those letters. FAD, SAD, DAD, then expanding to including the G and the H. HAD, GLAD. From there I learned where the other letters were, largely by memorizing. I also learned to type the words not just the letters. Once I could see a word in my head it became easy. In other words, I didn’t type I-T. I saw “it” and miraculously the word appeared. I use what I learned in that one semester class every single day. Who woulda thunk?

I type upwards of 100 words a minute and they’re mostly spelled correctly. With the computer and the delete key things are easier when I make a mistake. If it’s a common word I’ve miss-typed Microsoft Word is kind enough to fix it for me. If it’s a little more obscure, I simply hit the delete key and it disappears. How I ever lasted with an electric typewriter and a whiteout ribbon still makes my head hurt.

Pity the poor people who had to write everything by hand, at least prior to 1713 when the first typewriters were created. In 1741 British inventor Henry Mill got a patent for a machine designed to make impressions on paper. In 1829, American William Burt created a wheel that spun to the desired letter, and in 1833 Frenchman Xavier Progin came up with the novel idea of having each letter and symbol appear on its own type bar. Christopher Sholes created the first practical typewriter in 1867 when he arranged the keys into the modern QWERTY pattern. He sold it to the Remington Arms Company, a gun manufacturer, in 1873 and by the year 1900, the Remington typewriter was selling nearly 100,000 a year.

Fast forward to now when nearly every person deals with a keyboard in one form or another every day, sometimes multiple versions. I have my Mac as well as a PC. My smart phone has a full keyboard, as does my iPad. I have to resort to my pre-typing-class two-fingered method though when using the latter two. And it’s OK.

Typing is a great way to communicate efficiently. It helps me tremendously. And as I’ve always said, if this writing thing of mine doesn’t work out, it’s something for me to fall back on.

Somebody, somewhere needs a typist. Right?

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Charlie Brown and Snoopy go to the moon

by Lorin Michel Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:13 PM

May seems to have a lot of fun anniversaries. The other day I wrote about the 25th anniversary of Top Gun. I also saw recently that May, and May 18th in particular, is the 859th anniversary of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. They married in 1152 in what was, by all accounts, an elaborate celebration. Their nasty union however, especially the latter years, was chronicled in the fabulous 1968 film starring Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn, The Lion in Winter.

May 18 is also the anniversary of the 1969 launch of the fourth manned mission of the Apollo space program, Apollo 10. Classified as an F type mission, it was to provide a dry run for the famed Apollo 11 moon landing, but without actually landing on the moon. The lunar module actually came within 8.4 nautical miles of the moon’s surface. The commander was Thomas Stafford, the pilot was John Young and the lunar module pilot was Eugene Cernan.

Many incredible things happened during this mission, including Apollo 10 setting the record for the highest speed ever attained (at the time) for a manned vehicle. It was also famous for the call signs given to the service and lunar modules. Ladies and gentleman, say hello to Charlie Brown and Snoopy respectively.

As unofficial mascots, the two inseparable comic strip pals blasted into space at 16:49:00 on 5/18/1969, Charlie Brown in space coveralls and Snoopy in his Flying Ace scarf. When they returned to Earth on May 26, the recovery team from the USS Princeton painted “Hello ‘der Charlie Brown” on the underside of the helicopter.

The relationship between NASA and Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts in 1950, began when the space agency asked Schultz to join the mission in hopes of cheering up the country, still saddened by the tragedy of Apollo 1 and the loss of three astronauts in a launch pad fire. Schultz was convinced that the men would one day walk on the moon so he kicked off a week-long series of comics where Snoopy made it his personal mission to be the first beagle on the moon.

He succeeded.

As did the Snoopy lunar module. Abandoned in space it likely crashed onto the moon’s surface. The Charlie Brown service module landed in the Pacific Ocean and is currently on loan at the Science Museum in London where it is proudly displayed.

No word on Snoopy’s famous scarf.

Good grief.

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live out loud

The kid

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, May 17, 2011 5:14 PM

At 11:27 this morning US Airways Flight 796 lifted from the wet runways of LAX into the rain. It disappeared quickly as it flew through the heavy gray clouds and all that was left was the roar of the next jet, the countless cars jockeying for position, people calling out to loved ones as TSA members shouted instructions and a recorded voice telling us over and over again that the white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers.

Just that fast, Justin was safely on his way to his summer-stock internship at Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, New York on the south shore of Long Island by way of a brief layover in Philadelphia.

We pulled away from the terminal and started our journey home, proud of him, sad to see him go, and excited for the possibilities that await him. It was a true myriad of emotions.

I can only imagine what he must be feeling: anxious to start something new, to learn something new, but apprehensive because he’s never done this before. Never flown off to a job, never worked in a professional theatre, never been paid to do so. He doesn’t know anyone, doesn’t know the area. I’m sure he’s excited as well because of all that he’ll be learning. For two years at the University of Arizona, he has studied the ways of the theatre world. He has worked on productions as a tech, and this year as an electrician and assistant lighting designer. His internship will also be in electricity and lighting.

The playhouse is Long Island’s oldest summer theatre and one of the most respected in the United States. Many careers in theatre, television and film have been launched from their stages. This year they’re building on their 62-year history with plays like Legally Blonde, Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd. The actors are mostly from Broadway, and all professionals, though there is also a school on the premises.

There are seven acres with a Mainstage theatre, Barn theatre, scene shop, two rehearsal studios, three dorm-style housing units (one of which is where Justin will live), a full kitchen, costume shop, design office, paint shop, box office, business office, storage, rec room and even a swimming pool (the first in-ground swimming pool put in on Long Island). The beach isn’t far away and Fire Island is just across the bay via ferry. It’s going to be quite a summer for him, and for us.

So today, we’re celebrating the kid and his future. It’s something to behold.

Live it out loud!

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relative celebrations

In which I celebrate one of my least favorite movies

by Lorin Michel Monday, May 16, 2011 10:29 PM

Twenty-five years ago today a movie was released and it became an instant success. Men loved it because it was about men doing manly things, bucking danger, putting themselves in harm’s way and coming out heroes. With hot women in tow. Women liked it because the movie was littered with very hot looking young men, in uniform and out, doing manly things but showing their sensitive side by crying.

I’m speaking of Top Gun, released on May 16, 1986. I saw it when it first came out and can honestly say that I enjoyed it. Of course, I was pretty young myself and was enamored with Tom Cruise. My first husband was doing a lot of traveling at the time and he would go to the theater every night while he was out of town and watch the movie again.

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Come to find out, most men are like that. When Kevin and I got together, our third date was watching Top Gun in his apartment, with ribs and fries delivered by Pizza Man. It was referred to as “Dad’s Airplane Movie” because that’s what Justin called it. Even though I wasn’t a big fan of the film, I was already a big fan of the man who would become my second husband and so we sat and watched. We quoted all of the famous lines. And munched on some of the best bad ribs around.

Top Gun has a very simple premise. A hot shot navy pilot with a chip on his shoulder named Maverick and his Radar Intercept Office (RIO) Goose are given the chance to train at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School; to be the best of the best. The inspiration for the film was an article by Ehud Yonay in a May 1983 issue of California magazine entitled “Top Guns,” and it profiled actual pilots at the Miramar Naval Air Station in northern San Diego, nicknamed “Fightertown USA.” A former instructor named Randy “Duke” Cunningham was supposedly the inspiration for Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The movie, directed by Tony Scott and written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr., opened on 1,028 theaters and was the highest grossing film of 1986, bringing in $176,786,701 domestically and $177,030,000 internationally for a total of $353,816,701. Enrollment in the Navy went up 500 percent.

It starred Tom Cruise, who was a hot young thing. I loved him in The Firm; in other things I’ve tolerated him. Val Kilmer (“Iceman”) was one of my favorite parts of Tombstone when he played Doc Holiday. Tom Skerritt was a great sheriff in Picket Fences. Anthony Edwards went on to fame as Dr. Greene in E.R. At one point, he, Rick Rossovich and Michael Ironside were all on E.R. at the same time, in either the first or second season. Tim Robbins who had a very minor role is now a fairly big star (loved Bull Durham) as is Meg Ryan, or at least she used to be. Kelly McGillis. Never cared much for her.

The movie itself is trite and clichéd but has great action sequences, and nice bodies. As Roger Ebert said “movies like Top Gun are hard to review because the good parts are so good and the bad parts are so relentless.”

Regardless, Dad’s Airplane Movie continues to be a big hit in this house. I don’t tend to watch it because it really is bad, but every time we find it on cable, Kevin can’t help but pause and watch. I think he feels the need, the need for speed.

Happy Anniversary, Top Gun

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live out loud

The wheel deal

by Lorin Michel Sunday, May 15, 2011 10:33 PM

There were equal numbers of boys and girls standing in the shade, patches of sun slipping through to warm an otherwise cold Sunday morning. The wind was blowing but none of the kids seemed to mind. They were completely focused on their small, home-made wooden vehicles at the top of the drive. These cars ranged from the sparse flat floor panel with a seat, a steering column, attached wheel and a foot brake to wedge-shaped enclosed boxes with bucket-seats, handlebars and sponsors. The parents hovered. As the kids got into their cars, some crouched down to whisper last minute words of wisdom; others continued to tinker with the wheels, for torque. It was Derby day here in the OP.

Photo: Kevin Michel

The Soap Box Derby has been called The Greatest Amateur Racing Event in the World, and the Gravity Grand Prix. But it received its official name back in 1933 when a Dayton Ohio newspaper photographer named Myron Scott came upon three boys racing their engine-less cars down an inclined street. Scott had an idea: Why not hold a coasting race and award a prize to the winner? He took the idea to his bosses who promoted it and several weeks later, nineteen boys showed up for a race on the same street. One of the cars was handcrafted and painted black with a big white “7” on the side. Built by Robert Gravett, the son of a metal stamping plant employee, the car – which didn’t win – became the unofficial symbol for the Derby for nearly 35 years.

The first major Derby event was held that same year, on August 19, 1933, when 362 kids showed up with hand-made cars built from orange crates, sheet tin, lots of junk, and all sporting either wagon or baby-buggy wheels. At least one was made from a soap box, and 40,000 people watched the race from the hill.

By 1936, the event moved to Akron, Ohio and Derby Downs was born. At its peak, the Soap Box Derby was one of the top 5 sporting events in the country in terms of attendance with an average of 70,000 at each race. In 1947, actor James Stewart cancelled a week’s worth of appearances on Broadway in order to attend the Soap Box Derby.

In races around the world, modern gravity-powered racers reach speeds up to 35 mph. Drivers compete one on one, with the winner advancing to the next round or heat. Each heat lasts about 30 seconds. The maximum height of a car is 36 inches, max width is 42 inches with a maximum weight of 250 pounds not including the driver. Wheels can’t be more than 20 inches in diameter and all cars must have brakes. Today’s event in Oak Park was sponsored by the local YMCA. Several hundred people gathered in the parking lot of the Farmer’s Insurance building (they have a great asphalt incline driveway that’s off the main road), lining the pavement, sipping coffee, snapping pictures and rooting for their favorite cars.

Photo: Kevin Michel

We didn’t have a kid racing today. Our kid is too old and too big and this morning, was home in bed sleeping. But we went out to celebrate the Derby because Kevin has always been fascinated, because it was a beautiful morning after a night of drenching rain, and because events like this are the wheel deal.

Indeed.

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live out loud

The brain as mood ring

by Lorin Michel Saturday, May 14, 2011 11:59 PM

It has long been accepted that the heart is the center of our emotions but I have always wondered about that. Maybe it’s because I tend to be more cerebral than emotional. But still, does the brain have something to do with the way we feel, as well as the way we think? I think I think so. Thinking is as much a way of emoting as emoting is a way of thinking. They’re forever intertwined in the same way that the brain and the heart are entwined by arteries and blood. Emotions feed the brain and the brain feeds emotions.

It’s a theory that’s actually supported by a number of neurosurgeons including Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. He’s written several books about how the brain generates emotion and how emotion then helps people think. His research has shown that emotions and the conscious mind are both involved in all decision making processes. He has written several books, including Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain which foreshadowed discoveries in biology and neuroscience on the mind-body problem. His latest book, Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain suggests that conscious minds and feelings are the two elements of your idea of self and your actual self. The think works with the feel and vice versa.

The brain is all about influencing our decisions, and our decisions are what make us us. The brain is about thoughts and behaviors. The heart is about feelings and desires. The emotional brain is a combination of both. It tells us how to think about how we feel.

I feel hungry, so I eat. I feel thirsty and I drink. I think that someone is interesting and I feel like I’d like to get to know them better. I’m considering a new job, and I’d love to work at that company. I want to go to dinner, and I’m anxious to try the new Italian place on the corner. I wonder about going to that city for a weekend, but I’m so excited to try it. I think I’m in love and I feel my heart beating faster.

I think therefore I feel and I feel therefore I think.

When two people fall in love, their irrational unconscious brains dominate their conscious logical brain. We overlook the flaws that a logical thinking brain would have noticed, so love becomes blind. Then, after a few years of wearing glasses, love is no longer blind. Suddenly we can see because our brain takes over. And yet our heart continues to beat.

The brain involves love, lust and even sex. The heart does, too. They are hand in hand, though they function differently. The brain thinks and feels, the heart feels and thinks. We think about all of it and we feel all of it as well.

The emotion centers of the brain.

This is my brain. This is my brain on emotions. Any questions?

Well, since you ask, I feel really good about tonight so I think I’m going to go to bed happy.

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Things I'm celebrating right now

by Lorin Michel Friday, May 13, 2011 11:54 PM

Every day I find something to celebrate, something that’s good and joyful. Sometimes those things are fun, sometimes they’re introspective, sometimes they’re playful, and sometimes they’re serious. Sometimes they’re about a person, somedays about a place, often about a dog. 

Right now I’m celebrating the return of Justin who’s on his way home, driving across the desert into the setting sun. He should be home around 10. We haven’t seen him since January and he’s only home for three days before he jets off to New York for the summer. We’re celebrating his NY internship, too.

I’m celebrating Friday and the end of a fairly successful week; a haircut and color; pasta sauce simmering on the stove; wine swirling in a glass. The air is clear, hedging toward crisp after a warm and humid day. Saturday is only hours away, my favorite day, a day that always brings a smile to my face and a sigh of contentment.

I’m celebrating my vintage puppy, here next to me chewing on one of his toys. Kevin and I were looking at pictures earlier, laughing. Every inside picture we have of Maguire has at least one if not three toys on the floor around him.

I’m celebrating the quiet neighborhood and the flag dancing lazily across the street. I’m loving my husband, who’s in the kitchen chilling glasses and readying for martinis. Friends will be arriving soon. So I’m celebrating friendships, near and far, past and present. The smell of fresh cut lemon is wafting my way.

I’m celebrating a hot shower, and my favorite cargo pants, fresh out of the dryer, a black sleeveless mock turtleneck and black flip-flops.

I’m celebrating my book projects, two of which are simmering as we await publisher instructions, one that is moving forward even as we wait to hear from an interested publisher. And I'm celebrating the start of a new project with someone I worked with a while ago. She found me on the internet. She wants to write a book about her family and specifically her grandparents, and she’s hired me to do it. It’s going to be a special project, one that allows for both historical fact and fiction as we create scenarios about what the train from Chicago to Los Angeles might have been like in 1944; about the route across the country and the sights; about her grandmother seeing her grandfather, before they were even married, after he had sent a telegraph, proposing. She took the train to meet him, and their lives and the lives of their children and their children’s children would never, could never be the same.

The song that the grandmother loved so dearly, Live till I die, is a celebration unto itself. It was originally sung by Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, as well as Eileen Barton, a 1950s singer best known for the song If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake.

Live till I die begins: “I’m gonna live till I die, I’m gonna laugh ‘stead of cry,/I’m gonna take the town and turn it upside down,/I’m gonna live, live, live until I die."

Shout it out. Celebrate it right now. Live it out loud. I’m gonna. Everyday.

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live out loud

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