Not just nostalgia but sadness

WordPress prompt: What makes you feel nostalgic?

My fellow inebriates,

I feel nostalgic, and also sad, because the death of ex-Pope Benedict reminded me of this painting.

Dan Lacey’s painting of then-Cardinal Ratzinger wearing pancake vestments

The painting reminded me of the artist, Dan Lacey, who died of brain cancer 11 months ago.

Dan was very kind to me when I ordered a print from him (not this one but this one). I thought he was an absolute genius and would have hung his paintings on every wall if I were in charge of the art at LBHQ. (My parents have vetoed Benedict.)

Hot Lunch returns

The first thing I saw when we hit the playground this morning was this:


Yes, Hot Lunch is back despite urgings to call it “Fun Lunch” by less innocent members of the school community. Fun Lunch is good, if you care about such things as lunch. Hot Lunch is something utterly different.

It’s Hot Fun Lunch today because it’s also Sports Day. When the kids finish sack-racing and tug-of-warring and something called the shoe relay, they get to have hot pizza instead of resorting to whatever desperate mix of randomness parents like my mother put in their lunch bags. Although Fun Lunch represents a minor shakedown for money that could arguably have been spent on liquor, it gives parents a break from packing lunches and breaks up the monotony for the kids.

Hot Lunch is something utterly different.

Hot Lunch is something utterly different.

I started mentioning this to the kids this morning and was immediately shut down by our mother, who said the information was strictly need-to-know. She then put an oven mitt on my head.

Surrounded by Cuisinart swag

Surrounded by Cuisinart swag. Look how excited I am.

It was a Cuisinart oven mitt, a second generation of the failed Puppet Mitt with Silicone Grip I complained about last week, which had arrived via FedEx with a lovely note encouraging us to enjoy it along with another mitt, a silicone hot mat, a potholder, and a dish towel, all sent by Best Brands, Cuisinart’s manufacturer of said items.


Truth be told, my parents were one hundred percent more slightly more excited than I at the arrival of free Cuisinart swag. I hadn’t written my letter to Cuisinart with any ulterior intentions of getting free stuff, you see. I was just being a jerk that day and wrote a horrible letter thinking that it would be promptly round-filed.

One good aspect of that horrible letter (aside from the kitchen freebies) was that my mum announced the end of Dry Weekdays. She said obviously I was under a great deal of stress and that she would therefore relent, otherwise I’d end up badgering everyone we’d ever bought something from and being even more of a nuisance than I was already. Booyah!

PUNTO FINAL MALBEC (2011)—Argentina has it going on

My Fellow Inebriates,

Break out the Argentine wine; the papal conclave made its choice today and favored Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio. Seventy-six years old, sporting just one lung, and newly minted as Pope Francis I, this dude was the front-runner eight years ago when Pope Benedict emerged the victor.

Photo credit: (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

Photo credit: (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

The first pope from the Americas as well as the first Jesuit, the new pontiff’s claim to fame is humility. He cooks his own meals, rides the bus, and until now has roomed with an older priest instead of inhabiting the fabulous residence usually occupied by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

That he’s infinitely less creepy-looking than Pope Benedict should not be taken as a sign that he doesn’t harbor similar fanatical ideas. If you want to marry a same-sex partner or abort your rapist’s baby, don’t go looking to the outspokenly orthodox, conservative Pope Francis. Yup, it’s business as usual for Catholicism.

punto final malbecBut certainly no reason not to indulge in some PUNTO FINAL MALBEC (2011). There’s no reason to imagine this $14.99 wine would ever grace a table at the Vatican, but maybe, with a new budget-oriented pope in charge, it will make the cut. Who knows, maybe Pope Francis has even shared a bottle of PUNTO FINAL with his roomie in the past. Maybe they’ve passed it back and forth on the bus.

Dark and substantial, PUNTO FINAL wafts dark fruit and leather aromas. It strikes the palate with a pleasant roundness and a disciplined balance that stays out of jammy territory. My solid-food-eating friends say it would be excellent with a steak, but it holds its own very nicely for us liquids-only folk. The finish is lengthy and satisfying. While not mind-blowing, this wine is a decent find for moderate money.