Good Friends

Trip to Rhode Island To See EGP

When we were in Memphis for Thanksgiving we ran into EGP, Cali-Sab and the Waffle House Girl. Since EGP and Cali-Sab had visited New York a couple of times we figured that it was only fitting that we return the favor and check out their University. Mind you I had tasked CS with letting us know when was a good time in the fall to visit but she saw something shiny and forgot. #OneJob

We decided that their Senior Swim Meet would be a fun time and we promised not to paint our chests and embarrass them. “You know you got to support the team” *David Puddy Voice It was a fun trip, we got to catch up before EGP graduates and then has to get her a RJ or grad school. We took Amtrak and let me tell you, that is the easiest way to travel. No security, All the seats are big and roomy and you can’t beat it. By the way that part of the country is very nice and we need to plan a trip up there in the warmer months. It was a tad chilly on the coast to say the least.

EGP’s Roomates and Dude in a Patriots Toque
Senior Speeches.
Momma Bear and Peanut
Pre-Match
EGP in action
Cali-Sab in action.
I felt safe knowing that the swimmers were safe with a Life Guard.
Geranium and I scored a Table in the Café for the return trip.

It was fun and great to see EGP, Cali-Sab and Waffle House Girl.

Pictures from Last Year and of the Week.

Don’t you hate those people? The ones who will say; “See you next year.” Those people are probably the same people who try to rush onto a crowded subway/elevator car before letting others off first.

Here are some good pics that I had from December and a couple that made it in January. Hope everyone is doing well and keeping to their New Years Resolutions. I am glad that Otter is keeping his resolution of drinking lots of beer and then dining on the finest Gut Grenade in his domiciled city. I am seriously jealous of those square roto-rooter burgers.

Thankfully nobody was hurt in terms of Staff or anyone from Memphis Fire Department. Those boys will rebuild and it will be even better!
One of our friends flew in for a couple of hours in late December so we had to go out and see him.
No wonder those Purple Tail Planes list to the left a little. That is an OBSCENE AMOUNT OF STUFF Costanza!
Never really paid much attention to this building in Tudor City. Wonder what it costs to live at the top?
We didn’t eat much during the Christmas season
Wait its called Lardo Bread and it is stuffed with Ham Goodness? Oh Hell Yes!
Like I said, I starved during Christmas! Thanks Chris, Maria and Inga!
Grabbing a smoke on the fire escape. I am pretty sure this is a No-No. Mr 3 First Names/Asian Fireman – Judges ruling?
Yeah I stole it but kudos to this guy/gal who put it out there!
Geranium got inspired to re-organize the bathroom cabinet. Thanks to Baltimore SB for the encouragement.
Thanks to Z-Squared for the Prince Ping Pong Balls. Did you know that he was a huge ping pong fan? I figured his little ass couldn’t see the top of the table.

Hope you had a good weekend and your football team won. Me, my ass is going to be in Mexico during the Super Bowl so I don’t give much thought to it.

The Decade in Review

I know that this post is a couple of weeks late. I have been kinda busy and add to that Geranium has been working at my creative desk…….#herfault

So I started jotting down all the events that have occurred in the past 10 years. I was filling up a Legal Pad I realized HOLY FUCK! We have done some major shit in the past 10 years.

Without further adeau and in no certain order are some highlights, difficulties, not so great moments. I look back on this list and I see things that have defined us. I chose that certain quote about the windshield vs rear view mirror for a reason. Without further adeau;

  • CBT was “fun-employed” for a bit – Let me tell you there really isn’t much fun in that. Mind you it was 10 years ago but as I look back it was the greatest thing that happened to me. I will elaborate on this later.
  • CBT became a Carnie for Memphis in May and lived to tell about it. I tell people up here what I did that spring they still can’t believe it. It taught me a lot. Most importantly I learned that one should always have a nickname and periodically yell “Go For Robo” when answering a call.
  • Geranium went back to cleaning bedpans. I joke when I say that she was asked to come back after she came down to the river and hung out with me as a carnie. That was true by the way. This also was a good thing for our progressive movement.
  • CBT went to work for AMF/HW. Yep I needed to get off the streets and I found a little nitch for myself and we made a little money and had some fun too. In all seriousness God Bless Ernie and Lynn Mellor for taking a chance on me. I will always be in your debt.
  • English Mike/Claire, RJ/Mal-O-Rie, & Mr. 3 First Names/VQ all got hitched in the past decade. What is important about this stat is that we now have a full basketball team roster of kids. More kids to help us when we get older.
  • Geranium got diagnosed and Then kicked the ever loving Fuck out of Cancer. Let me just say that not all superheroes get to wear capes. Since then we sadly have some friends of ours join this club too. This also defined us and put things in perspective.
  • Geranium decides to not only get an Undergrad but then a Masters in Bed Pan Cleaning. I have told her that there is no reason for her to go get her Doctorate or Juris Doctorate. Her ass is done with text books.
  • Carbunkle Trumpet completed his first and only 1/2 Marathon. Again, if my knees could bend backwards I would kick my own ass.
  • After many years of owning a bar in South Bluffs we pulled off a Ponzi Scheme and moved to the core of Downtown Memphis. Yep we had to get RJ/Mal-O-Rie’s house sold, then they bought ours and we got the condo. God Bless Ponzi Scheme Pawn JL for believing a bunch of strangers at the pool that one day. *Disclaimer – I don’t have good nickname for her so this will work till I come up with one*
  • Geranium gets her a Job in New York City! What can I say, we like it up here. We probably are going to stay for a little more while. Anyway we haven’t seen all the dive bars in all 5 boroughs.
  • I get a job seeing Double Decker Bus Tickets to Tourists. Ironic that I had to move to New York to get this job.
  • New Job (again) for Geranium – She left cleaning those bed pans to working for a company that would make the cleaning solution for the pans.
  • Move from the UES to Crime-Free Brooklyn – Let me tell you, if it wasn’t for Maria we may still be unboxing those damned boxes. Moving in New York sucks!
  • Stamps are getting put on our Passports – Truth be told we chose to move to New York so that we could take advantage of cheaper and direct flights to foreign lands. We really have enjoyed this.

We look back for a moment and are very grateful for our past experiences. Some of those experiences without a doubt has made us move forward.

Always look forward folks, always forward.

But Did You Die?

A couple of weeks back I kept on seeing posts about it being cold by my friends in Belize. Scoop had posted that she was freezing to which I responded that she was number one. Mind you it was a ball shrinking 30 degrees in Manhattan and we were getting some snow/sleet and it was miserable. She fessed up that she was in sweat pants.

Now before I really piss off everyone on Ambergris Caye I guess I better come clean. I too have been on the island during a ‘cold’ front and have even donned a light jacket. Mind you I was still wearing shorts and if you think for one second I had socks on under my flip flops…..awe hell no. To my buddies down there I get it, when you are used to temps in the 80’s & 90’s anything cooler and you are cold.

It all comes to what you are conditioned and used to. Back when we lived in Memphis during those lovely high humidity summers it wasn’t a big deal for us to vacation down in New Orleans during Swamp Ass summers. We moved up here and sure I am not thrilled about Nor’easters but we have gotten used to ‘brick’ cold days.

I recall when Florita A. would come to Memphis as a kid. The only time I would ever see her wearing socks was when she came to see us. Naturally she would get a summer cold and we would have to take her to the pediatrician but I get it. She wasn’t used to Southern Summer Air Conditioning going 24/7. Now she lives in Colorado and I bet her little ass is wearing more than socks!

I used to wonder what was up with Kitty and LuLu when we would meet up with them at Dale Hollow Lake. Here we are on the boat, the sun is shining and both of them are wearing bathing suits and sweat shirts. Once you get used to a climate your body acclimates to it.

So I will let it slide this time San Pedro, but I will still call you wimps when the temps get below 80.

Like I said, my nose was itching! That white stuff on my hat, that’s sleet.
That is funny!

So here is to hope that you guys down in San Pedro get a real snow storm or temps in the mid to low 60’s.

2019 in Review – What Did We Do Again?

On the back of the door in our apartment we have one of those old school calendars. We use it for scheduling shit and to make sure that we keep the dog alive with our schedules. I took a look at it this morning as I was getting the Black Eyed Peas and Greens on the stove and here is what we had to show for with Trips;

  • Geranium was away 151 days in 2019. Mind you 31 of those days were when she was in Switzerland/France. That actually made us both appreciate our time together more and take stock in our relationship which made it stronger.
  • We saw Elton John and his Farewell Tour at The Barclays
  • Got to experience The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. That was a killer event.
  • While Geranium was away Mr. 3 First Names & Lady Lawyer and I went to see Jose Andres at his book signing.
  • Got our Southern Redneck on thanks to BK and saw Hank Jr and Skynrd at Forrest Hills.
  • Rang in the New Year at the Barclays Center with The Strokes.
  • Oh and we had dinner at Per Se too.
  • And so that I am not a complete prick I am going to end this list that we also did some horse gambling at Aquaduct Race Track.

Regarding Trips Away, I am kind of embarrassed to divulge this to you dozen readers. I mean this list is somewhat obscene. Mind you we were able to take advantage of Geranium’s international trips and my ability to fly stand by.

  • Hung with PNG Mike, Ellie & JD in London and watched 6 Nations Rugby with them.
  • Visited Northwest Arkansas for Family Christmas
  • Made a trip Upstate with Vivian and Stone
  • Made warm weather trips to; Cancun, Belize, Fort Meyers, Gulf Shores, and Dale Hollow Lake.
  • Went over to Philly for a BBQ at Pepe’s house.
  • Got to experience Barcelona for the First Time. (Got to go back)
  • I did 48 hours in Switzerland to see Geranium and imagine that..it was raining!
  • Made it to Memphis for Thanksgiving and for a work trip in September.
  • Got to eat some low country cooking with the ChoHo’s in Charleston South Carolina.

All in all it was a good year for us for doing the fun shit. Granted I wondered why our bank account has been low but now I know why I haven’t been able to see my feet in months.

Photo by Toria of Blue Water Grill down in Belize
Charleston South Carolina with these two!
Thank God Geranium is Fluent in how to Speak Randy!
We got to go back one of these day!
I booked a whole week with these knuckleheads and I loved every minute of it!
I love this man!
Lausanne Switzerland and the snow topped alps
The rain does happen in Spain!
Oh Maya had a blast while we were away too!
Thanks Viv and Stone!
Rain in London….how odd

It was a good time for trips and shit that we saw in 2019.

Balance/Transitions for 2020

KC Jayhawk used to talk about transition all the time before he and Mrs. Jayhawk were heading down to Belize. He would post two pictures side by side. (hang on I am going to go find it on his FB page, give me a minute) and talk about how he needed to transition from the one on the left to the right to keep him balanced.

I am assuming, the pic on the left was from his work and well, I kinda recognize that pic on the right. I think this dock bit it a couple years ago but I always like it. Man I think I went through every one of his pictures looking for this. He must be telling me something.

I am a big believer in balance. It wasn’t till I moved up here to New York did I really start to take stock in how important balance is. I am not talking about standing up and able to walk around. That part is pretty easy as long as you haven’t been talking to Uncle Tito. I am referring to balance in your life spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physical and keeping it in check.

2020 is going to be a big year for me as I will have circled the Sun 50 times and I am still around to talk about it. I also will be closing out the past decade that was a roller coaster for not only me but for Geranium. I went to visit my Internist/GP doctor early this week and I was relieved to hear that my previous doctor has left the group. He had really big hands and he kept on how he wanted to check my prostate. My new doctor mentioned to me about my weight, my liver enzymes, oh and my Cholesterol was a tad high.

I actually told Doc that I chose to come in on Christmas Eve for my physical and get my labs run. I told her that I was planning on being somewhat of a hot mess since I just finished up a fairly stressful peak shipping season. Add to that on the Saturday prior I was at a restaurant on the 4th floor next door called Per Se. Fuck I expected my labs to be high, the bill was high. I told Doc that I now have 90 days to clean my shit up (No pun intended) and get this 50 year old machine moving in a better direction.

Relax Andi, Margo, Taylor, Stephanie and all my other bartenders/liquor store owners – I am not going away forever. I am just going to moderate what I am doing for a while. Regarding my diet (right now Geranium is watching a cooking show) I got to do something. Sorry S(Squared) and Don but I am going to be eating a little better at our Cuban refuge on 45th street. I am not a big sweets fan so that is a blessing I guess but gone are those killer rolls at LPQ.

So what is it you are going to do better in 2020?

The Fat Kid Bunch and I were just talking how we hardly eat Fast Food. This was a necessity on the day before Per Se. I had a fairly good hangover going.
It lived up to all the Hype Again!
This is where it went bad Post Per Se – How many Tito/Soda’s can one person drink in 3 hours? Mr 3 First Names, Landlord and I tried to see.
Come to Brunch they said….It will be low key……and your hangover will be fine they said….. Friggin Drag Bruch at Chelsea Market with a Stage 5 Hangover. I may be smiling but trust me I was fucking scared!

I am going to do better, nobody wants to see a 50 year old short fat kid. Notice I didn’t say much about cigars or booze – Hey you have to have balance…..

Per Se 4.0

Hello, my name is Carbunkle Trumpet. I am one of those Food Snobs that you read about who travel the world eating endangered or banned species. Relax Francis…we weren’t eating the banned French Ortolans like they ate on the show Billions. Confession – I may have enjoyed the fuck out of my Fois Gras but was still legal to consume as of the 22nd of December. What makes the last Saturday before Christmas so great? The service, the wine pairings, the food, and the overall experience are top notch but it is the company that sits at the table that makes it so special.

Back story – if you are just stumbling on this blog and the Per Se part of it let me recap for you. Homeless Tim and a group of barristers about 12 years ago started having an annual dinner at Thomas Keller’s 3 Micheline Star restaurant on Columbus Circle named Per Se. Keller also has French Laundry on the west coast and TAK Room here in Hudson Yards but Per Se is considered one of the pillars of gastronomical dining here in New York. When we moved her we got the chance to dine at Le Bernardin with Baby Fine Hair and her mother the first month of living here. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister inquired if we like fine dining. We told them yes and they said they would see if they could extend an invite to us for their Christmas dinner group. We didn’t’ really think much about it as this conversation was going on over drinks in Lower Manhattan and as you can guess…..alcohol was being consumed.

So in December of 2015 we attended our first Per Se Dinner along with Asian Fireman and V.Q. (She gets the full title retired since we didn’t have a repeat this year) and a cast of others. We attended every year except for 2 years back due to a scheduling issue but it wasn’t until this year that I really took stock in the table.

The crux of the Christmas Dinner Cast are; Homeless Tim who is the scheduling /’knows the guy’ to get us the primo table. Mr. 3 First Names and Lady Barrister, you may have heard me speak of them before. Then you have the Asian Fireman/Grey Suit guy and his wife V.P.. But let’s not forget Bobcat (another barrister) and her husband the Professor. Then you throw in Geranium and myself and you have a unique dinner experience. Oh we had some dessert guests joining us later but more on that later.

This year we were celebrating not only Christmas but we were celebrating someone who kicked the shit out of cancer. As we were siting there, by the way, this dinner took 6 hours from start to finish. I really enjoyed the conversation and what I call “peeling the onion” with the different cast of characters at the table. I could try to explain but I know I can’t do it justice.

Put it this way; how can you explain the conversation dynamics of the table with someone who is a high School history teacher, a person who has been sober for 25 years and yet still enjoys our conversation while we get loose tonged during the course of the night. There is a couple who have 3 knuckleheads at home, meanwhile the other 3 couples only have 4 legged kids at their homes and don’t know what it means to have kids banging on their heads with a Stage 4 Hangover. And then there is that guy who hates white wine.

Again, I am going to stop and put up some pictures so Iuka Mississippi’s own can shame me for posting food pictures.

I mean we get our own menu for this gig.
Total Menu with the different courses and supplements.
Grey Suit Guy didn’t have any white wines on his list
Oysters and Pearls – If Keller ever takes it off the menu….. Travesty
Egg and Black Truffle Ragu. It is a labor of love to make this dish that you consume in less than 5 minutes.
Per Se’s General Manager, Sandra Schaeuffele, one year brought out the egg topping machine and raw egg for us to try to whack off the top. Bobcat got to do it last year but this year was my time. No pressure at all. By the way that was a great Sherry they were serving me for the next course. Notice the attention to detail that they do while my fumbling ass is about to make scrambled eggs.
I did ok! Carbunkle for the Win! Thanks Sandra for the pre-cut egg!
No lies were being told at the table.
You know what Bill – F you! I am going to have Fois Gras after your silly ban! This was the Fois course but notice the casing for the forced goose liver.
And I wondered why my Sodium was sky high on the following Tuesday.
Entrée Course
You can’t steal them either!
Chocolate Course – I went with the Dark & Stormy They are made in house
But now I know how they can tell what is what.
Pastry Chef Anna Bolz made this for our dinner. English Fruit Cake but all of that on top was edible.
I am always interested in what quote is on “The Pass” in the kitchen.

Like I said, the meal, the wine, the service is over the top but the folks at the table make it all the better. Honestly – I would be ok if Homeless Tim one day called and said that he got our Christmas Dinner at Waffle House. Sure I would be disappointed but knowing the cast of folks at the table and I would be ok with that.

Again, Thank you to Tim, Jess & Dan for the invite.

So I Hear You Paint Houses?

If you are a fan of The Godfather, Bronx Tale, Good Fellas, Micky Blue Eyes you may want to pay attention. About 2 years ago I was visiting with a client whose last name also ended in a vowel. He asked me if I had seen the new trailer for a movie set to come out in the fall of 2019. The name of the movie was “The Irishman” and the cast was going to be kick ass.

Directed by Martin Scorsese the cast includes; Bobby DiNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Harvey Keitel, Steven Van Zandt, Anna Paquin and many others. I mean this cast demands some serious attention. This past Easter we went over to Vivian & Stone’s house for brunch and met Welker White and her husband Damien. Welker plays John Gotti’s wife. Naturally we didn’t’ want to chat shop but she told us in so many words that it was going to kick ass.

So the movie like many movies there was a snag in production. Pretty much the backer of the movie pulled out and Scorsese sat with a half written movie for about 6 months. Then Netflix comes in and says “Blank check but you got to go with us.” The finish the movie and the plan was to have it in theaters for about a month then it will be on Netflix. Trust me because this movie is a long one.

Well the Movie Theaters get pissed so they don’t show it. What does Netflix do? The rent out the Belasco Theater off Broadway and show it there. We went this past week and it kicked ass! When it comes to Netflix watch this!

Thank you to Vivian and Stone for inviting us.

I am sorry but seeing a movie in a Broadway Theater is kick ass!
The Marquee!
Nipped from Welker’s Instagram Page
Some Movie Props in the Lobby
How cool is that!
I got a friend here who wants to talk to you!
Jimmy is Missing?
I want a bumper Sticker!
Dial that Number!
Bev Naps!

Like I said, go see this movie!

Bonus Pictures of Belize (borrowed from The Windy City Brit aka Toria)

I can’t recall all the times I have been to Belize over the years. I probably have in my storage unit in Memphis over 1000+ pictures of the island over the years. I know this is going to sound somewhat calloused but I take a lot of what Belize has for granted. Obviously there is nothing better than sitting on the dock or patio smoking a cigar while the sun comes up over the reef. I can’t get that view here in Manhattan. But I notice that I put my blinders on when I am going around town and never stop to appreciate the little things.

One thing that I always enjoy is looking at pictures of the island from other people’s perspective. You stop to glance at them from your phone and it brings you back. You remember that view of the reef from a palapa. You remember the sheer terror you had as a child when Manuel tells you to get in the water at Hol Chan while the nurse sharks are circling the boat. You then pee yourself a little when you later realize that Manuel snuck some cut up sardines into your bathing suit pockets and the yellow snappers are swarming you like mad bees! I am still not happy about that Tio Manuel. I discuss this with my shrink on a regular basis.

So this past week The Windy City Brit aka Toria has been uploading pictures to her facebook page. Let me tell you that when you are suffering from a Sinus/Upper Respiratory infection those pictures bring it all back.

I asked her if I could swipe a couple and I wanted to give my 11 stalkers some bonus pictures. @Marty Casado – Feel free to post on the Pic of the day if you like. Thank you Windy City Brit, your pictures put a smile on my face this past week.

Old Rubys on the left and the Belize Chocolate Company.
I recall when Legend’s was the place to go north of the cut. Thank God some guys said “Lets put some sea containers on a plot of land on the lagoon side. Lets make it bar and food court with a stage.”
10 years ago you were driving at full speed because the mosquitos were going to lift you off the golfcart. Now there is a great place to watch the sunset and have a beer.
I want to go back. How perfect is this?
You can almost hear the reef from here.
I can never get bored of these pictures.
Little Bungalows at Secret Beach. It has been about 4 years since I was there last
Such great people who run this joint. Oh and the food is pretty spot on too!
This was me going to the store to get food for Friendsgiving today. Do I look like I am fucking happy?

Again, thank you Windy City Brit for posting the pictures and it was great meeting you and The Movie Star.

Pics of the Week Live From Belize!

Too Many Good Pictures not to post somewhere.

You Coming or Going? The Old Veteran Jet Holland!
Oh He is getting Bouchy!
Slow Your Role Tropic! It isn’t even the 15th of November and The Tree is UP?
Such a great addition to the island. Great Staff and Owners!
If you have to have a sign then there must have been an incident.
Over Achievers!
Good to See the Bronx Representing!
Note To Self – Only get on Boats that Have Bars on them!
View North from CV
The Famous Shrimp Sticks from Blue Water Grill!
Catching Up with CNN Belize Felipe!
Geranium – Please take a picture of that for me.
Me – Ok, I will but may I ask why?
Geranium – I want to make that my signature on inner office emails.
Me – Good Call
Did you know it was his birthday?
And that he is the same age as Belikin only makes it better!
View of the Pool from CV

It was a great trip!