Tag Archives: friends

to old friends and good beer

Last night Brni and I met up with an old friend of his from his grad school days. Robin is gorgeous, energetic, smart and very interesting. I look forward to seeing her again someday.

We met at Monk’s Cafe, a very lively (a good hour wait for a table) restaurant/bar with very good food and a dizzying array of Belgian beers. Robin recommended a delicious, hoppy beer, the name of which I can’t remember (sigh). The mussels and pommes frits are to die for, but you probably can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. This is the third time we’ve been there and have never been disappointed with the food.

It was a lovely night, the air crisp but not too cold, parking was unusually easy for the city, and there was a nice, easy energy that was so welcome after the harried, somewhat tense Christmas holiday.

Now, for a second cup of coffee and then maybe a nap. I don’t get out much.

’tis the season

I’ve spent the day preparing a feast for our family and friends. Brni cleaned and set the house to rights and then the two of us sat watching the DVD set of Boston Legal as we wrapped presents to put under the tree.

I’m very much into the holiday season this year. I feel better physically than I have for a long time, plus both my children are in a good place this year. There’s also a weird peace knowing that my dad is not suffering the confusion of dementia anymore. I’m sad he’s gone, but relieved he’s at peace.

So tomorrow–no today–I will celebrate Solstice/Yule/Christmas by offering food from my heart to those I love and cherish.

Happy Christmas to all, friends and family.

return of christmas

This time last year, my back trouble was so debilitating that we had to cancel our Christmas party for all but immediate family and a few very close friends. But this year saw the return of our annual Christmas open house after my successful surgery. It was a long, happy day full of food, drink, presents and lovely people.

Here are a few photos of Christmas morning behind the cut.

old friends

When I was contemplating surgery, my mortality loomed up so close it nearly broke my nose. Now, it doesn’t take much for me to fret over my impending doom, but the fact that I was faced with a real and present risk of dying on a specific day was unnerving and scary and made my eyes leak tears without warning.

To be utterly cliche, since surviving death by surgeon, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past and the people who were part of mine. I’ve never been a gregarious person, being way too shy to collect a large group of friends, so thinking back on who I missed and wanted to get in touch with took very little time. I basically came up with only one person. So today I searched the phone book and called.

And she answered.

And it was wonderful to talk to her again and I truly hope we can stay in each other’s lives for good this time. Or for at least as long as we are here.

did a drive-by caking tonight!
so i had chocolate cake and ice cream for my birthday.
and brni gave me books and kisses
*happy me*


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bitch & beer

That’s what we call our not quite monthly get-togethers at Gullifty’s. A few of us (3 core plus a few occasional stragglers) leave work and meet at Gullifty’s in Rosemont to bitch about work and life as we know it. We actually have a fine time, lots of gossipy tidbits, clamorous comments, tasty revelations and mounds of humorous family stories. We tend to tease each other mercilessly, so we are careful to invite only those with skins thick enough to laugh at themselves.

I ordered the nicoise salad w/grilled tuna for dinner. A vodka and tonic later, everyone’s dinner arrives while I remain plateless. So Laura asks, “Will her dinner be here soon?” “In just a few minutes.” Fifteen minutes and a second vodka and tonic later, “Just a few more minutes, sometimes tuna takes a long time to cook.”
odear, this can’t be good.
Meanwhile my work companions took pity on my plateless plight and gave me bits of their dinners…I had two paper-thin slices of cantaloupe, a stalk of celery, 4 french fries, 2 potato chips and a bit of crust from a quiche.

Forty-five minutes and a third vodka and tonic later, my dinner was served. Semi-ravished, I lit into a somewhat aged piece of fish and bits of fishy green beans and waxy potatoes. bleh. Couldn’t eat more than a couple bites before deciding that life is too short to eat bad food. I sent the dinner back and requested a cup of coffee.

When the bill came, they had charged us for my late meal. Judy stopped the waiter and said, “I think there’s a mistake on this bill…” and proceeded to tell him we shouldn’t be charged for my dinner due to tardiness and taste. Then a very handsome asian man came over to inquire why we didn’t want to pay for my meal. So, I told him politely about the forty-five minute-three vodka and tonic wait and the old fish and he apologized and removed the charge.

It was all so civil, it hardly happened.

… and then my dear friends paid for my drinks in honor of my birthday.

all in all, a nice night out.

a very bad day–monday mourning

yesterday was a very bad day.
driving to work, early in the morning, the car in front of me decided to turn left. as i approached it’s rear, an oncoming car wanted to turn left between us. no time to stop short to let the oncoming car clearance. i checked my rear view mirror and saw a car that looked to be aways behind. i switched to the right lane to get out of everybody’s way.

about a quarter mile on i see luisa’s car behind me and i wave. she’s pissed. she’s yelling at me. i motion to her, “what the fuck?” she makes her way ahead of me and stops near where i usually park in the lot at work. she gets out of her car and comes up beside me, yelling, “you ran me off the road! it was like you didn’t even see me and i ended up in the Chili’s petunias!” i said, “i didn’t see you! omygod!”

i realized that the car i saw in my rear, objects-are-closer-than-they-appear mirror, was luisa’s and she was probably right at my side.

ogod. i almost killed my friend!

it’s a true friend who, after you fail to kill her, comforts you in your realization that you almost totally fucked up.

later that night, i found out my uncle died.

uncle andy was truly my second father. we lived next door on 3 acres of ground. there was me, my sister lori, my cousin donna and her brother andy. all of us in descending, two and a half year order. we played together. ate together. bathed together. grew up together.

my mom died in 1989. uncle pete died a couple years ago. now uncle andy. that’s it for the ferrilli’s. my mom’s line is gone. there’s no one but my dad and aunt rose left to hold the line between us and mortality. and their hold is tenuous…slipping fast into the oblivion of failing health and dementia.

it’s our time now. our time to plan the funerals and to face the reaper one on one.
we are holding the line now and our grasp is slipping and our children are turning to face the future.

remember, be here now.

good friends

it’s always nice to see good friends. johnC and his wife of 3 months dropped by on their way from louisiana to a family gathering in nova scotia. we hadn’t seen john since brni and i went to new orleans some years ago. we first met john *in person* in 94 when brni, jess and i took a road trip out to new mexico. on that trip we hooked up with a lot of people from the politics list, plus family and friends. in between people stops, we did the tent camping thing. great way to see everything and sleep on the cheap. john was one of our politics people.

i took off a half day from work yesterday to clean up the house and prepare food for their arrival. it was a great excuse to fix up my office/spare bedroom since jess had been staying with us the past couple months. i just need to do a little more to the room to get it the way i want it…efficient and peaceful for me to do my work but cozy for guests.

their expected arrival was 5pm and they were right on time. i hardly ever get where i’m hoping to end up at the expected time. i wonder why that is?


we had a tasty dinner of blackened tuna, fiesta salad (a concoction i made up that is sort of a tangy gazpacho w/out the soup), tossed green salad and tomatoe slices with basil and olive oil. we watched bubba hotep before they retired around 10:45. they intended to get an early, 5am start in order to hit the maine/cananda border by nightfall. brni set his alarm for 4am to make them a parting pot of coffee, but they had snuck out sometime before that. owell…intentions were good.

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