Just finished teaching my Saturday morning class. I only had two students, but hey - quality over quantity. Hopefully word-of-mouth will start to fill up my classes a bit, or atleast thats what I'm hoping. The studio where I'm now teaching, SURFSIDE FITNESS (21st and Dune, Avalon) is so beautiful. The acoustics are great....I'm coming up with awesome playlists that guide is through practice and if I do say so myself - the classes have been pretty awesome. I have acquired one "regular" already - Ginny. That in and of itself is exciting to me.
2. Natali Vineyards:
After several years of picking grapes and just hanging out at this awesome local vineyard, I have finally taken a job there! Kevin had joked that I spent enough time there that I should just commit to a schedule and get paid for it. Well, let me tell you - this is the most satisfying job that I have ever had. I have never enjoyed work so much in all of my life. Coming off of 8 years at Mildreds - where I was not only not appreciated, but treated like shit - it feels good to come to work with people who are amazing, and who appreciate the fact that I put 110% into everything I do. It's a five man operation over there: Kevin, Ray, Al, Sammy and Chuck. The 5 most amazing gentlemen that I have come across in some time - and they all treat me like a princess. I'm working in the tasting room and LOVING it. I learn quickly, and after a few wine tastings with Kevin and talking about the wines to the boys, I feel like I'm just bubbling over with knowledge about our products. Someone accused me yesterday of my intense, but amazing "sales pitch". I was offended by the term - because this is no sales pitch, its simply love. Love for the product, love for the process, and love for the people who put their hearts and souls into the wine. When you love something and are proud of it, it's an easy thing promote. When we are slow in the tasting room then I help around the farm...washing out bins, cleaning dishes, helping with the grapes, labeling bottles. It's soul-satisfying work for sure. And my favorite part about it is lunch. It's no secret that I LOVE food, and not just the food itself - but the preparation of it, and the sharing of it with ones you love. I am a big advocate of sit-down dinners with friends and family. Well, Ray (one of the owners), cooks lunch everyday and then we all sit out in the vineyard and eat as a "family". We have a few glasses of wine and just enjoy the delicious food, the yummy wine, and the company of one another. I'm in the tasting room on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am-5pm, so come on over for a visit!!!
3. Diving Horse:
The Diving Horse. Oh, my beloved Diving Horse. The best restaurant that we have going on down here in South Jersey. They only have one week left to go, and I feel my heart breaking already. LP and I have enjoyed a weekly indulgence here all summer, thanks to LP for always footing the bill, to all the servers for the spectacular service, and to the kitchen for providing us with dish after delicious dish. This week is "FRENCH" week, with a proper French menu. I was going ape shit for everything on the menu - and we pretty much ordered all that they had to offer. The kitchen always knows when our order reaches the kitchen - because we always "order right". This Thursday LP and I had: oysters on the half, bibb lettuce with fresh herbs, mixed greens with goat cheese and poached pears, escargot in a sherry cream sauce with chives, cauliflower soup with butter poached lobster, and then our entrees were the most perfectly cooked duck with cherry and red wine reduction, and a pork loin crusted in mustard seeds served with cabbage, apples and fingerling potatoes. Divine. We topped it off with Creme Brulee that was sent straight from heaven, and a delectable buttery apple tart. Ayeyaya. This coming Thursday will be our last meal there....I'll be sure to bring extra tissues with me as I prepare to say goodbye to this establishment for the winter months.
4. Dead Dog:
The Dead Dog Saloon in Sea Isle City is my favorite bar....probably my favorite bar in the whole wide world. It's cozy, filled with familiar faces, and the bartenders are friends that know what I like to drink. Oh yeah, and theres always live music. And lots of the time, that live music is me. I've played there the past two Fridays and have had a BLAST. Now that it's fall and the shoobies have mostly left, the bar has been packed with good friends and family. Again, about 50 friends of mine came out to support me on stage. It was a blast. Christian showed up half way through and we jammed the next two sets together. He was on point and we sounded amazing. Great times, great great times.
5. Megan and Tully:
Megan and Tully are two of my favorite people in the state of New Jersey. Epic. Good hearted. FUN. Friends. Well, they just got engaged - and I couldn't have dreamed up a better pair. They fight, they laugh, they drink, they dance and they love each other -- fiercely. It's a beautiful thing and I cannot WAIT for their wedding, it's gonna be one hell of a party....
My Dad. My main man. My #1. This summer was super draining and depressing - he was really struggling. But the Avastin infusions have seemed to slowed the growth of his tumor -- we have been able to cut back on his steroids - and now I'm getting a bit of "paul callahan" back. He's been a bit more witty and quick to make a joke. He's following conversations a bit better and just has been more "with it" lately. We are all super stoked on the success we are having with the Avastin, and we hope to get an amazing winter with it. A huge amount of gratitude goes out to Dad's spectacular doctor, Dr. Arati Desai. She is amazing. A woman who treats my Dad not just as a patient, but as a husband and as a father. She addresses me and my mother, and jokes around with us - because we like laugh. She just "gets" it. I don't know if anyone watches the showtime series, THE BIG C, but the recent episode really hit the nail on the head. Kathy, who is dying of cancer, was asked to speak to a bunch of med-students. They all treated her as a cancer patient, not as a person. She got all Shirley McClain on their asses and said it like it is - at the end of the day we are PEOPLE. We are dying and we are scared. You are our savior. So, thanks to Dr.Desai for being so amazing, you have made this journey much more palatable than most would have been able to.
So there we have it. Been doing heaps of graphic design work lately, surfing a bit, drinking too much, laughing a ton, and shopping more than necessary. I've been eating good meals, with good people. I'm nursing a black eye, and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. The ebb and flow of life is a beautiful thing. Here's something to chew on for awhile, it was a quote that I ended yoga class with today:
"May you live each day of your life."
Namaste my friends <3