Published on: January 6, 2012
I learned something about myself this Christmas.
I used to think that I was a resolutely traditional guy when it came to the holidays. I love Christmas trees, I love poinsettias, I love decorations, and I love the whole Christmas morning routine.
This year we tried something different. We’re getting to the point where we realize that there are not that many years left during which we will be able to take our kids on a family vacation - and the stars aligned this year so we could take them to Florida for nine days at the beach.
So we did. Traveled down on Christmas Eve and back on January 2...and it all was a breeze. I have to tell you ... if I never see a snow-covered fir tree again, I’m okay with that. I love palm trees decorated for Christmas. I loved getting up on Christmas morning and taking a walk on the beach with Mrs. Content Guy, and then coming back and sitting on the porch, sipping coffee and waiting patiently for the kids to wake up. And I loved going out for Christmas dinner, and having butterfish, which I’d never had before and simply loved as it melted in my mouth. I loved snacking on conch fritters and eating blackened grouper sandwiches for lunch.
I’m not sure we’ll do it again next Christmas. But if we head south again for the holidays, I’m thinking Christmas in the Caribbean....
The only downside of the Christmas vacation was we were in a place without easy access to movie theaters...so I didn’t see anything new over the holidays. (I have to catch up this weekend...) But that meant I read a whole bunch of books...
“The Drop” is the new Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly, and it maintains the series’ reputation for being one of the best available today. In this one, an aging Bosch - a dogged LA police detective - has to solve two cases. One is a “cold case” that dates back decades, while the other is current and ripe with political implications (”high jingo,” the cops call it). The writing is brisk, the dialogue is biting, and Connelly continues to evoke memories of Raymond Chandler as he turns Los Angeles into a vivid, compelling character in his books.
Michael Sansolo previously raved about “Boomerang,” by Michael Lewis, in his column, so I won’t belabor the issue except to say that the author of “Moneyball” and “The Big Short” has crafted one of the scariest books I’ve ever read about the collapse of the world financial system. It is accessible and fascinating and you won’t be able to put it down. And when you do, you’ll have nightmares.
I mentioned ‘The Right Fights Back” yesterday in FaceTime
, but let me reiterate that it is an entertaining look at the ongoing GOP nominating process. It may be a little “in the weeds” for people who are not politics junkies...but I ripped through it and was sorry when it was over.
Finally, I read a series of e-books by Bob Morris, the Florida-based mystery novelist and travel/food writer. “The Whole Shebang,” “Short Road To Hell,” and “Gut Check” are essentially essay collections on the subject of food, drink, marriage, travel and general misbehavior. I loved them...maybe because I was sitting on the same beaches and eating the same food that he was describing...but can recommend them as being utterly diverting. (I’ll have more to say about Morris and his books in an upcoming column.)
My wine of the week - the 2009 Muschen, an Italian blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that “is a little young” (according to my son, the wine merchant) and that seemed to me to be just lovely.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.