Dinner is a rush of passed dishes, clanking silverware and clinking glasses filled to the top with skim milk, or, perhaps wine.
Once we settle into our food and conversation, we usually meander casually around everyone’s daily experiences or football, to which my wife and daughter roll their eyes and try desperately to change the subject.
Last night Carson opened the evening with this one –
“I want to open a Scotch and cigar bar in Brooklyn.”
It’s not the most surprising thing he’s ever said.
But it made me smile, because he had no fear of putting himself out there on the line for judgement and ridicule, which families are exceedingly good at doling out.
I can’t quite conjure up my earliest memory any more. I can go back to my sister’s birth in Austria in 79, which would put me at about five years old.
I remember the castle we lived in at the foot of the Rax mountains, and I remember the school that I went to before it burned to the ground after someone left a candle burning all night.
When our family left Austria in the early 80s, it was during my awakening, or so I call it. A time I can remember and which was formative for me.
Growing up as the son of missionaries working in Eastern Europe certainly left an impression deep in my heart, but moving to an Armenian neighborhood in Pasadena, California was a very different life than the one I was used to.
I don’t review much. Mostly because I hate reading reviews.
Very seldom does something line up the same way for reviewers and critics and myself.
Life is frenetic, and as a journalist, I’m too often caught up in the spider web of pop culture and hard news, trying to dissect the edible morsels for the ravenous public.
So when I want to unwind with something entertaining, I want it to be ridiculous, far from either my own experience or the realities I have access to.
It was 2012, the snowiest year on record in Anchorage, Alaska. My wife was working nights at a local Applebees, and I was trying to come down from the highs of covering both the Iditarod, the 1,000-mile sled dog race and the Iron Dog, a 2,000-mile snow machine race.
I’ve been reading princes stories to my daughter for the last year or so. We started with George MacDonald’s princess stories, The Light Princess, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie and we went through all the traditional princess from the Brothers Grimm to Disney.
It’s partly because she’s eight, and she loves princess stories. It’s partly because I want to understand the message these stories are portraying so I can help her process them in our current age. I did not grow up hearing princess stories, so it’s a discovery process for both of us.
And it’s partly because the world is obsessed with fairy tales right now. Or perhaps it always has been.
We stayed in bed all day watching Netflix movies and reading books in between the movies.
Call it recovery from our first big house party in a few years, where we dipped into the cellar and made like Jesus, serving the best last late into Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
I got up and made breakfast for the friends who stayed until the bitter end and then stayed the night.
We ate omelettes with leftover pulled pork and sharp cheddar cheese with salsa and avocado. I made them strong coffee, and we watched some television together before they left for their Sunday activities.