June 14, 2005

A strong finish

It can not matter how you start your day, how you conducted yourself or your affairs during the course of the day, how overwhelmed you may have felt as the day ran on, if, and this is a big if, if you finish strong. For some, that may mean pushing through the pain at the end of a run. That would not be me, that person.

No, yesterday was a day of quiet. Not solitude, not happy quiet, not peaceful reflection. It was a day of feeling the desperate quiet, the stillness that comes from paralysis, not meditation. The frozen feeling of not wanting to take another step because you don't know what's going to reach out, grab your ankle, and send you sprawling all over the mess you are trying to avoid. One of those days. We all have them. I had it almost all day. I left the office to go home a beaten and downtrodden man. I went to bed a happy and rejuvenated guy. How come? Strong finish.

First, I reconnected with someone on the train ride home who is coming in to my office tonight after work to make a presentation to me and another one or two lawyers about a new case. I love, just flat out love, new cases. They are all shiny and fresh and smell like opportunity. I can't yet see all the hard work involved or if I do, I discount it a little in my excitement. She's decided to come in and talk to us because I am the only lawyer who has understood what she was talking about and she has tried to describe this to six or seven others. She's a lawyer too, for that matter. So, that put a spring in my step on the way home.

Then, home to a quick happy summer dinner. The temperature was in the 90's yesterday (and will be even hotter today). It was a day for a cold dinner. I had made, the day before, a salad of white beans, Italian tuna packed in olive oil, fresh pepper, and chopped roasted red peppers. A very simple thing. And then I applied some wine therapy -- the Vino Verde. Instant mood elevation. Vino Verde is from Portugal. It is a young wine, described as a"crisp fruity white, with lemon and green peach flavors". It is also slightly effervescent. A slight but happy fizz. It is a bit dry but very fruity. Not sweet. It is, at around $6 a bottle, the greatest thing to happen to summer wine since beer was sold at baseball parks. It is that good. It is particularly good with things piscine. Or with nothing at all. It is a young wine and meant to be drunk young. Go buy some. You will come back and thank me for it, I guarantee (channeling a little Justin Wilson there, remember him?).

Then, I tumbled on the floor with my children. The kids were like a litter of puppies. It was of no moment that I took a knee to the chin or my son's thumb somehow ended up in my nose. Didn't hurt a bit. They growled and climbed all over me and it was lovely, sublime even. Then stories were read, cuddles and kisses were given, and they were deposited in their beds a good 40 minutes later than usual.

To cap it off, what do I find on the idiot box? Grosse Pointe Blank. I really like this movie. First, I like John Cusack and like just about every movie of his I've ever seen. Second, it's the 1986 high school reunion! That was my graduation year. Third, the music. Finally, what can I say? I like a nice satire now and again. Besides, it has some other great actors in it. I couldn't stay up to watch the whole thing, but what I saw of it made me happy.

Yes indeed, it isn't where you start, it's where you finish.

Posted by Random Penseur at June 14, 2005 10:10 AM

That's really a perfect dinner, and I love that movie too. Carpe evening!

Posted by: Amy at June 14, 2005 10:53 AM

Now if you could bottle up and sell the finish, you'd make millions!!

I miss Justin Wilson...hooo eeeeee.

Posted by: Wicked H at June 14, 2005 10:55 AM

Grosse Pointe Blank.

I can recite the freakin' dialogue.

Yet another reason to (heart) you.

P.S. I believe you're an expert at strong finishes and no one -- NO ONE -- will convince me otherwise. You're a winnah, babeee.

Posted by: Margi at June 14, 2005 03:55 PM

How cool are you! Way to go, RP!

Posted by: GrammarQueen at June 14, 2005 04:51 PM

Your sense of timing is impeccable. I needed to be reminded of just that today. And now, if you'll excuse me, am off to endeavor to finish strong.

Or asleep.

Either way.

Posted by: Jennifer at June 14, 2005 07:46 PM

A perfect night for us is the kids to bed 40 minutes early

Posted by: Theresa at June 15, 2005 11:03 AM

"It isn't where you start, it's where you finish."
Thanks. There are days when I really need to remember that.

Posted by: Peggy at June 15, 2005 11:48 AM

Good Lord...why is it that I keep expecting people to be *much* older than me (instead of the 3 years older you are)? Am I that deluded? Is it because you're Mr. NYC-important-lawyer?

Anyway, sounds like a great night, and having the kids crawl all over must be just wonderful... I suppose that as they get older, the fingernails up your nose aren't quite as sharp? Mine loves to grab my nose, especially since she's likely to hear me honk.

New blog's up, and some of the follow-on thoughts from "Crippling Religion" are posted if you care to read. Be forewarned: they're long.

Posted by: Allison at June 16, 2005 01:31 AM

I met Cusack once when I lived in Chicago. He was just wrapping up filming of the movie High Fidelity (another great film) My ex was an extra in the film. Well, strange coincidences happened and we actually ended up having a few beers together at a bar in Wicker Park. What a blast. We shot pool and drank. I tried to be real cool, not mentioning anything about films or his past rolls. Just treat him like a regular guy. Even when I won in pool I didn't say(although I wanted to) "Two Dollars! I want my two dollars! " At around 11 pm Nev Campbell shows up (they were dating at the time) with Jack Black and Jeremy Piven. . They sit with us, introduce themsleves and order a drinks (not sure if alcohol or not) . I mentioned to Nev that I remember a Kids in The Hall skit that she was in. She seemed surprised. She thought no one remembered that. Well, the night went on, Jack had us laughing a lot. At one point Jack Black kept tapping on my stomach like it was a drum. He called me Duder after I mentioned my love for the Big Lebowski. Then he gets up, grabs me (yes me!) and we do "Let's Get it On" that he does in the movie "High Fidelity"! We all just had a really good time. John even said he would look me up when he was back in his hometown again. I ended up moving back to Buffalo so he obviously didn't spend time looking for my new number. That day was the best day I ever made up. I know I had a few people going. I did see Cusack once when I was on the train though. I'm laughing so hard right now I think I'm going to post this at my site too.

Posted by: dr pants at June 16, 2005 01:15 PM

Dude...it's 11:07 pm and you make me look up the word 'piscine'...For a minute, I thought it might be what you do often after drinking a lot of wine...Imagine my surprise when I found out that it meant nothing like that.

Glad the day ended on a high note. I must say, mine did as well.

Posted by: Howard at June 17, 2005 12:11 AM
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