P.O.E.T.S. Day: Carl Sandburg, a Recommended Selection from Our Peanut Gallery

From the Hibernian heights, we take the finest of fictional (as far as I know) semi-holidays from the sage raconteur Sir (if he’s not he should be) Ian Rankin whose detective characters revealed the beauty of P.O.E.T.S. Day – Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. The weekend is yours and all the more so if you claim it early, so emulate the denizens of his award winning books and seize the day, early. After all, the Scots have done quite a bit for us.

Get yourself out of the office, away from the construction site, skip a vote in the Texas legislature with a few cases of beer in your carry-on, or tell your patients that it’s probably just a cold and you’ll check with them on Monday. Declare the workweek over and grab a seat at my bar.

This may require subterfuge. Frequent readers of these electronic pages will have already gotten past the moral quandary that arises on P.O.E.T.S. Day. The lies necessary for a successful escape are watter off their backs by this point, but that may not be true for those new to the site.

Continue reading

P.O.E.T.S. Day! “I’m at the Beach” Edition Featuring the Inestimable Gerard Manley Hopkins!

Welcome to it, the one, the only – except where people are doing it other places – realization that life is short and meant to be enjoyed. Moments savored are the bread and butter of poetry and moments working are decidedly less savory. So break free and embrace the P.O.E.T.S. Day ethos: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday!

This editions invites you to release your inner sun worshipping and bad tattoo spotting urges that so often we reserve for the occasional retreat to the coast. Things are different at the beach. Beer is generally acceptable with lunch in the real world. It’s a-okay for breakfast here.

Unstrap yourself from the desk, tell the boss that you can’t get the part for whatever flugenator or semi-disfusation unit until Monday, tell the supervisor you have an oncoming bout of dysentery, whatever you have to do to get away and start your weekend early.

Continue reading

Bucatini all’Amatriciana – My Favorite Pasta Dish That We Don’t Offer

Amatrice, located to the northwest of Rome in the inland part of the bulging calf of the Italian boot, may or may not be the point of origin for this dish. The confusion arises from the name and its popularity outside of Amatrice.

The word Amatriciana means “in the style of Amatrice” and its popularity in Rome cannot be overstated. I’m on the side that believes a Roman liked the food in Amatrice and came up with something evocative of the place thus “in the style of” but I’m open to it being a direct import.

Either way I first encountered it in Rome over dinner with possibly the most pompous person I’ve ever met. Lucky for him, he was interesting and could pull it off.

Continue reading

P.O.E.T.S. Day! John Banister Tabb

It’s that time again. From the Scottish midlands or wherever Edinburgh lies, we bring you another P.O.E.T.S. Day – Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday.

So gird your loins and set your best poker face. It’s time to get out of work a few hours before closing and get yourself to a bar, but that’s going to require a moderate lie. Don’t worry about the morality of lying. They’re the ones taking your weekend from you. All you are doing is reclaiming your time from the workaday usurpers.

Did you just get a call from someone who found your beloved lost dog? You did? That’s great. Your boss would have to be Scrooge not to let you go pick up Fido immediately. Did your neighbor just call to let you know that your dog was just hit by a car? She did? Bereft and hollowed you have to go right away. The latter works best if you don’t have a dog. Try the former when dogless and you may later have to come up with lies to cover your original lie and it gets complicated.

Keep it simple. Come join us at the bar. Jeopardy starts at three.

Continue reading

The Wonders of Homewood Vol. 8 Issue 6

Have you had a gyro at Sam’s Deli & Grill? It’s not life changing but there is no such thing as a life changing lunch. There is such thing as day changing lunch.

I go out of my way, plan meetings, and otherwise shirk responsibilities to eat there. Move about for the chance of this wrap. It’s fabulous.

Just yesterday I woke up at 6:03 AM and the damn thing was on my mind. They open at 9:00 so I had to wait, but it was worth it.

Continue reading

P.O.E.T.S. Day! That One I Still Remember From Second Grade Or Whatever!

“One bright day in the middle of the night…”

A lot of you of a certain age and Catholic education will recognize that line from a poem. It was required curriculum, at least in my diocese growing up and I doubt there was much variation reaching outward.

It’s a stupid poem to anyone with an ounce of sense, but kids have nothing approaching such. I memorized this ditty almost forty years ago and still remember it. There wasn’t even an assignment to learn it. I just loved it. So did my friends and we’d race through it by rote, trying to see who couldn’t recite it quickly and then descend on that poor child like those bat eared things from Galaxy Quest that were out for Guy’s blood. But that was the early eighties: stupid funny poems, lawn darts, pit bulls, and Africanized honey bees. Kristy McNichols though… dude. There was an upside.

So it’s P.O.E.T.S. Day!

Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday! Get your ass out of work. Lie, cheat, steal, fake minor (don’t go overboard or there will be required explanations) injuries. I don’t think pit bulls or killer bees are going to work but a lawn dart injury to a near relative is pretty special and not outside the realm of possibilities. If there’s a temptation to lie to the higher ups by pretending you need to leave for a date with McNichols I’m in your corner and so would most people that remember Madonna’s debut album, but it’s been a long time since Little Darlings. Know your audience.

Continue reading

P.O.E.T.S. Day! The Angry Version Full of Spite and Misery… Soooo… Poe?

P.O.E.T.S. Day pablum first. Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. That should get your blood going even if you already knew what the acronym stood for. Get out. Get here.

It’s not quite the weekend but it can be if you make it Picardism. Escape the office. Don’t claim anything that’ll come back and bite you, though. Tell your boss you have a raging case of herpes and yeah, you’ll get out of work early but you’ll also never get to double dip a corn chip at the office Christmas party without a full and total realization of what a gossip your boss is. Also, what if your boss is hot? Don’t burn an a bridge unnecessarily.

Better the simple. We all hate a sniffle and COVID has everyone on tenterhooks and there is no “How did the flare up go?” questions around the water cooler on Monday. A fever can be faked with nothing more than a thermometer held near a light bulb, but not too near. I still remember my mom telling me to get dressed for school despite the thermometer registering 110° F. I tried but mom’s are clever.

Back to Poe

Continue reading

I’m Anticipating a Pizza

I’m anticipating a pizza. There are three of us sharing it and it’s not what any of us would have were we given free reign.

I’d have gone vegetable. Maybe anchovies.

My son is easy to predict. He wants pepperoni and black olives.

Our friend is harder to predict. He likes a variety of bell peppers and bread crumbs on top.

You would think that a compromise would include a bit from me, a bit from my son, and a bit from our friend. It turns out that it just my son got one from his wish list on the pie. Pepperoni and sausage. We colluded, and came up with something simple and spectacular.

Continue reading

P.O.E.T.S. Day! Byron, and No, I Won’t Concede to Call Him Lord

I won’t call him Lord because of this painting.

File:Byron 1813 by Phillips.jpg

He looks like a goof – a runner up on Star Search goof. This is the first superstar? That’s no Lord.

I almost forgot the required stuff. Back to the goof in a sec.

It’s P.O.E.T.S. Day! Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday! Get thee from thy workplace verily!

You can’t help but see all before you covered in blood and random Lego pieces. Obviously that’s not true, but if you tell your boss about the blood and Lego gambit it’s bound to get you out early and the weekend can begin.

Not up for the psychiatric follow up? Try a cold. We’re in the end stages of COVID but the least of viral symptoms still gets you an overblown license to absenteeism.  Go Rahm on this. Never let a crisis go to waste.

Alternately there’s car trouble, gas leaks, emergency vasectomies, and all manner of other excuses. Bottom line: Get out of work early and sit yourself at my bar. I’m a heavy pourer.

Continue reading

La Sonriente Garnacha – Truth in Advertising?

La Sonriente is not a bottle we carry at the restaurant. It’s a Trader Joe’s pick and not half bad. If you factor in the $7.00 price tag it’s damn near amazing, punching way above it’s weight. I had it at a family dinner Sunday night and during a lull when my sons and their cousins were grousing about having to clear the table and do the dishes (aside from lawn mowing that is why you have children,) I noticed the blurb on the back of the bottle.

“The best vineyards of Calatayud are situated high on the hillsides, where, despite the poor gravelly soil, the vines produce the finest grapes possible in this arid and desolate region. Only the ripest clusters are chosen, thus producing a wine of considerable depth and finesse including intense aromas of sweet cherries and dark plums.”

Continue reading