Dec 2018 – Feb 2019.
For you whinging millennials, get out now. This posting has more than 280 characters.
Because we just took a long drive, New York to Wellington Florida, and to keep my hand in this bloggy thing, here’s a random Tooleing update.
The drive , all 19 hours of it, was dull as a
marathon paint drying event but we got in a couple of very good podcasts and lots of Karl’s Mega Music Mix (heavy on techno trash). And lots and lots of I95 South.
If you’ve not listened to Dirty John, it’s a captivating , entertaining , infuriating and satisfyingly brilliant 4 hours. The generosity of women never ceases to amaze me.
Additionally, The Last Days Of August, works best as a companion piece to the labyrinthine podcast The Butterfly Effect. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s about PornHub and that industry. It’s many things, including a study of a hugely successful business model. But don’t despair, lots of weird Porn stories too. Who would have thought stamp collecting and Adult Entertainment could be so intertwined?
Anyway, I’m in Wellington. It’s got all the soul of a John Cougar Mellencamp ballad for most, but Nirvana for horse people. Unfortunately Horses give me the mange, an itchy combination of allergies and sticker shock.
On the very positive side, we’ve traveled from -7 degrees in Ancramdale to 76 and sunny in Horseville.
We’ve a beautiful condo rented with friends for “The Season in The Wellie”. It’s how the horsie set refer to their annual swarming. My advice, If you are single and male, buy a pair of riding boots, breeches, a pink lacrosse shirt (color optional, but bright a must), a small, yappy, irritating dog and game on ladies!
I went to the Mall, because that’s what you do in Wellington if you don’t ride them donkeys. For my good friend in Ireland, always curious about my meals, breakfast was an Asiago Bagel in Panera with a passable coffee.
I found a beautiful local bookstore called Barnes & Nobles with some soothing Muzak overhead . ABBAs Waterloo massacred by a local duo. Christ, now Fernando. ITunes time.
I did see my first concert of the year at Bowery Ballroom. My first time seeing or hearing Kongos, a four brother Alt Rock band, resident in Phoenix but born in Pretoria, South Africa. I’m a fan . Will definitely be looking out for their next event.
As a 2018 recap, I got in 30 Concerts last year. My highlights were Depeche Mode (obviously); ELO (bucket list fulfillment) ; The Killers ( did a cover of Romeo and Juliet, that slayed me/The Man my song of the year); a surprise entry for hair band legends Def Leppard; Brian Setzer Orchestra (a rockabilly Christmas show I will endeavor to see every year) and lastly my night at The Grand Olde Oprey was an event to remember.
And by chance I happened on a Wellington Beatles cover band. Everything you’d expect from a Wellington Beatles Cover Band. John, Paul, Ringo, George, Hank and Margo.
Note my cap, from a far more interesting destination. I remember back in 2018 as I navigated this great country of ours in search of my self and a decent Cappucino …… Jesus – that’s A Hard Days Night they are desecrating? Pods back in – it’s the Happy Monday’s!
Wellington, considered a village, like much of Florida, is a flatland of gated communities, expensive homes on reclaimed swamp with names like Polo Club and The Gilded Donkey, accessed from quick turns off eight lane freeways. And The Wellington Mall, or whatever it’s called, and horses, lots of horses.
But West Palm Beach is close , with some excellent restaurants and we met up with our good friends for dinner there . The RH Rooftop restaurant, the fourth floor of Restoration Hardware has an excellent Americana menu, a spectacular high glassed ceiling/roof and great service. It’s a really fun spot. Not sure where the furnishings come from, but the space has a real elegance.
On a completely separate note, I’m very proud to report that Stacey (wifey) received the William T. Lifland Award in January from the New York Bar Foundation. I’m guessing at her tender age, Stacey is their youngest lifetime achievement recipient. Stacey spoke very impressively to a room of about 500 anti trust lawyers in the historic University Club on Fifth Avenue. Now that I’ve seen her in action, I will never start another argument in my life. Ever.
Most importantly, I looked magnificent at the event, in a form fitting Boss suit and narrow , silver Armani tie.
On the binge front, Murder Mountain on Netflix , is a modern day tale of Mountain justice, murder , missing persons and the weed buisiness, legal and criminal. Now I understand why I got such cagey recommendations when I stayed in Eureka.
For lots of WTF moments, watch Abduction in Plain Sight, an argument that licenses should be required to have children.
For doobie heads and non smokers alike, Mandy, the latest with Nicolas Cage is a best of 2018. When bananas old Nic is the sanest character in the film, you know you are in for a bizarre ride.
We did get back to Ireland for the Christmas. Galway was in full festive form, lit to the nines for the holidays. City Center was hopping between shoppers and the Christmas fair in Eyre Square, replete with a giant Ferris wheel that affords a unique 360 view of Galway and surroundings from its heights.
Every visit home I like to take the walkway embanking the River Corrib, that crosses the towns three bridges, taking in the Salmon Weir to the swan occupied Claddagh Basin and opening to the Bay. You some times forget how beautiful your own home town is.
We had great dining experience in Cookes Restaurant and Martines on Quay Street, both housed in centuries old, city centre, stone buildings. Quay Street ranks with the best party streets on the planet.
With ten nieces and nephews at home, it made for the most Christmasy of Christmases and we also got to hang with good friends and revisit the walk around the town pubs tradition on Christmas Eve. We visited The Skeff in Eyre Square, an event since my college days and The Bunch Of Grapes On Quay Street, as always, was sardined. Still a few faces there I recognized after 32 years gone.
It was my best Christmas in years.
I went to the Wellington Mall again today . I found some giant hearts.
Which leads nicely to Stacey’s 50th Birthday. She’s a veritable Valentines baby. We hosted 70 people at the apartment on the night and was delighted so many of our close friends could make it. Wifey claimed to have a fabulous time, so that critical goal was accomplished.
But most importantly, I looked magnificent again in a black tuxedo shirt with red studs, lobster cufflinks and matching valentine red trousers.
My phone was on Sonos duty so I didn’t get lots of big head selfies at the party unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll get some photos of the night sent on.
I’m not sure I enjoy blogging as much when it’s not just all about me.
I got another concert in, Kool and the Gang, if now more Kool and the Grandkids. The line up was a mix of the original band members with a couple of new young members. Love that big brass sound and disco funk fun. Jungle Boogie my song of the night.
Will catch up again soon.