Usually I drink non-alcoholic drinks. As everyone knows I’ve always throughly enjoyed coffee and tea. All my life I’ve really enjoyed a good alcoholic drink too though. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to drink very much because my constitution has always been so very fragile. I have the same rule for alcohol as for coffee. I quite enjoy the straight plain variety every bit as much as the flavored pretty kinds. In my old Knights of Columbus council in Lindenhurst, where I was a bartender, I was quite fond of Kahlua and Sambuca. Unfortunately I haven’t drunk either in quite a long while. My current signature drinks are martinis at weddings and other large occasions, and bourbon whenever I visit my cousin Mark. Surprisingly there isn’t any single specific reason for either choice. I simply decided quite a few years ago to start drinking martinis at big parties, and last Christmas, at a party at Mark’s house, I got the idea to drink bourbon whenever he and I got together. So far, it’s only happened twice. There’s most certainly no entirely non-negotiable rule though. I can always cheat a little and have something other than bourbon or a martini. One day a few weeks ago my nephew Sam and I were hanging around and he got a glass of vodka. I ended up drinking a glass of Salignac cognac. It’s really good to be flexible.
Unfortunately I got out of the habit, for a while, of making entries into my blog. A lot has happened since November. The first Christmas since my parents’ deaths turned out fairly well. Steve and I drove Michael here from Long Island City and Sam was here from Hofstra. A while before that Steve and I went to Union Square in Manhattan where, among other things, we got some of the Christmas presents. It was an especially harrowing day for me because we first went to St. Peter’s Prep, where Steve is on the faculty. It’s a Jesuit high school. As soon as we first got there I went to 7:30 a.m. Mass in their chapel. After Mass I met some really interesting people, most of whom were on the faculty. None of the bathrooms in that entire section of New Jersey was functional that day so we were all sent home early. Ultimately, though, I really enjoyed the trip to Manhattan. I’ve always really been interested in that type of environment. We went to a big outdoor market where they were selling all sorts of funky esoteric things. We got much of our Christmas shopping done there and stopped to get something to eat. On Christmas morning we all went to Mass at St. Mary of the Isle Church on Park Avenue in Long Beach. Micheal, Sam and Bridget all wanted to open their presents that day instead of Christmas Eve. Late that afternoon we all went to Mark’s and Laura’s house in East Setauket for a Christmas party. I finally got a chance to meet Laura’s brother Harold. Mark has always told me about Harold’s being as much of a Beatlemaniac as I’ve always been. Harold and I did quite a lot of talking about the Fab Four. Frank and Autilia were there with their kids and I saw a lot of other familiar faces too. Because I didn’t have to drive I even drank some bourbon. I got both my annual Christmas cards too, one from Carole and one from Grace. Unfortunately Carole’s husband Bob died on October 2. I also got a lot of Christmas cards this year which my parents would have gotten. A while before Christmas I first started growing my beard, the first time I’ve ever really let it go for significant length of time. Alas the highlights that were once such a nice shade of red have since turned grey.