Monday, August 31, 2015

My Big Fat American Summer

Les Vacances 2015:  Here’s how it went down.

My baby brother got married in July to a beautiful girl on her family’s lakeside property in Vermont.

Berry Pie in Vermont
Fishing Lure Boutonnieres for the Groomsmen

I hiked two ridiculous mountains in the Adirondacks, which resulted in three days of muscle soreness and several curse words every time I went up and down a flight of stairs.  It also got me Numbers Fourteen and Fifteen of my 46 High Peaks, although I don’t intend to complete all 46.  Please.

Adirondacks Hiking Views
My Favorite Kind of Cobblestones
The View of Whiteface Mountain from the Lake Placid Lodge #nevergetsold
A Damn Good Bottle of Rioja Wine, Lake Placid Lodge, Adirondacks

I drank bourbon in Kentucky.

Sipping Bourbon at The Brown Hotel in Louisville Kentucky

I channeled Elvis Presley at Graceland on the 38th Anniversary of his death.

Graceland, August 16, 2015 #butelvisisalive
Barbecue Ribs and Brisket in Memphis Tennessee

I shoved Texas-sized steaks and Tex-Mex into my mouth while visiting Fort Worth.

Tex Mex and Margaritas in Fort Worth
Texas Sized Steaks
Boots for Discerning Cowboys

I hung out in my Dad’s backyard eating his homegrown tomatoes straight off the vines until my stomach lashed out at me like - what the fuck, woman, are you trying to grow a garden in here?

Dad's Philly Garden Fresh Tomatoes 
Philly Cheesesteaks, because we're in Philly

I spent plenty of time catching up with The Bestie, although, it’s never enough, is it?

Lunching with a Bit of Moxie
Poolside 'Ritas with The Bestie

I treasured every moment with my kids, who are growing into adults right in front of my face, which is, like, cray cray.

Kayaking in Lake Placid New York #notparis

Did I write anything?  Well, I’m delighted to report that I did complete a pretty darn awesome short story, and at over 3,000 words, it’s one of my longer literary attempts.  I’m letting it marinate for one more day before I do the final edit, then it’s off to be rejected by any literary magazine that will have the pleasure of clicking their standard form letter email button on Submittable.

Speaking of rejections, I received two of them this summer, which is far less than I expected, considering what’s still out there.  I guess even editors take vacations.  While LampLight Magazine offered their rejection of The Professor’s Confession in the shortest, most to-the-point note ever (Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate efficiency), Philadelphia Stories cranked out the most creative rejection letter of them all.  Their heartfelt and honest form email actually made me enjoy getting rejected.  I mean, they told me they appreciate me sending a small chunk of my soul.  So, there’s that.


Did I read anything?  I did, in fact.  This summer I concentrated on reading crap.  Don’t be disappointed; that was actually my goal.  I break out my Kindle between metro stations and at doctor’s offices and during church, so it didn’t bother me to branch out into the self-published section of Amazon.  Out of curiosity, of course. I need to send two kids to college, so, yanno.   I’m exploring my options.  There was The Billionaire Wins the Game and Murder in the South of France, and while neither of them caused my brain to hemorrhage, I was satisfied with the endeavor.

I finished Daniel Ray’s Pollock’s Knockemstiff, an award-winning book of short stories set in rural Ohio, which blew my mind.  This led me to discover similar writers, who specialize in “Grit Lit,” and then the Google rabbit hole led me to discover “Street Lit,” and by the end of the summer I decided my style falls somewhere in between, and that realization was a Come To Jesus moment for me.  I haven’t experienced many of those moments in my lifetime, so let me have this, OK?

I made a small dent in Don DeLillo’s Underworld, which is long and tedious, but oh so fucking amazing.  I’m savoring this one like a glass of fine port.

And lastly, I am partly through Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, which wasn’t on my list of books to read, but we’re discussing it at Book Club next week, so I figured, why not?  (Yeah, I said Book Club).

Voila.  Now I’m back in Paris, where there was a Rentrée Celebration for my ass. (Yes, I ate all the food in those pictures).  Lucky for me, I like to run, and so do Les Pompiers.

One Last Round of Hot Wings in the Uber to Newark International Airport


  1. Such a delicious summer. It was so great to see you. Next summer, we roller skate!

    1. Yes! Roller skating is (practically) aerobic exercise! Then we can eat more mini chocolate bundt cakes!