On the day of the recent USA congressional elections, I received a text message from my oldest brother that summoned me home (Greece) immediately. My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in his lower abdomen (one kidney, his liver and his colon) three weeks prior. Instead of the couple of months remaining (as the oncologists had advised us), the prediction was changed to “a matter of days.” I caught the earliest flight to Athens available and Aaron, my spouse, was followed me a day after.
Last year (2017) when a revised version of the rainbow flag was unfurled in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in honor of Gay Pride, it generated quite a controversy. It continues to create heated debate now, more than a year afterwards. This uproar is all centered on a version of the rainbow flag that Philadelphia chose to symbolize their support of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, and their commitment to respecting diversity. Honorable intentions and no disrespect were intended but obviously not taken by everyone.
The seasonal change from Summer into Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere isn’t as obvious or pronounced as it appears in the above image. Overnight, the grasses didn’t suddenly fade as they did in the picture but like it or not, the seasons have started to transition from one into the other. Before the passage of many more days, we’ll all begin to notice the thinning of the foliage and the dropping of the outdoor temperatures. The reality is that the days for outside nudity are seriously numbered.
Nude entertainment always sells. It’s a very lucrative business as millions of people every day fork over their money just to see the live nudity of someone they don’t even know and will probably never meet. Anonymous gratification of humanity’s obsession with sexual expressivity. Now that most people pay for their entertainment via credit card, I’m not too certain as to how anonymous the entire procedure truly is anymore or even if it was anonymous ever. However, that thought is outside the scope of this post.
No matter how you spell it, barbeque, barbecue, or BBQ, cooking on the grille, outdoors while bare can sometimes present some serious challenges. To yourself physically, to the food or to your guests. Being bare isn’t the problem. It isn’t even the cause of the problem or challenge. As humans, who are prone to make mistakes, we, not our undressed status, are the source of all of the mishaps that can and do occur. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy, no matter where we cook.
Today, August 15, is our (Aaron, my spouse and myself) third wedding anniversary. Three years of marital bliss and harmony! All right, I’ll try to be real and amend that to be three years of one year of compromise (33.3%), one year of bliss (33.3%) and one year of tolerance (33.3%). It has been happy, fun and adjustment, but we both agree it’s much better than eight years of nothingness. If you’re having trouble with the math, we lived together and shared the same bed for five years and three months before we stood before a justice of the peace and promised ourselves to one another!
August is now here and in the Orthodox tradition, this is the month for the customary (at least in the home country) blessing of the grapes. In other words, invoking the divine to shed his benevolence upon each and every grape that we consume, be it the fruit itself or the juice or the wine that we drink. Trust me, as Greeks, we do consume quite a bit of wine and have a remarkable ability to eat an impressive number of grapes.