Live like James, Fight like Mike, Love like Jay

He was also a pretty talented striper fisherman, apparently

A few years back I lost a close friend to brain cancer. It was tough. Mike was a great guy…and full of life, before his struggle with cancer robbed him of his vitality. He fought like hell. But he finally lost the war.

I miss him. He was one of my closest friends in Columbus in the years between high school and LaGrange.

In the last two weeks, I got hit with two more bodyblows. Jason Sparks, another of the Columbus crew, and one of the sneakiest funny guys I ever knew had a heart attack at his home in Cataula.

Seeing a trend here

Jason and I were pretty close Facebook friends. I loved his photos of country life, of his coi pond and his cat that he loved dearly.

Then, on Saturday, news of another passing, this time a high school classmate.  James Eaton was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Quick with a smile, a laugh and even great advice. I had not seen James in person in years, but we talked often on Facebook. I hoped that next time the family made a trip back to NC we could meet up and catch up with James and his lovely wife. James was a gentle giant of a man, who played bass in a rock band. I feel like he never met a stranger. His wife Heather is planning a party at a Charlotte bar to celebrate his memory on Thursday night. I wish I could make it. I think it will be the perfect tribute. He is gone much too soon, the victim of a heart, that again…just stopped beating.

I don’t have any sage advice to take away from these losses. I hate each of them equally. I guess all I can say is treasure the moments. Treasure your family. Live like James. Appreciate nature and friendship like Jay. And fight. Fight like Mike. We are all a little less whole without the three of them around.

James was a rock star. No fish, though

Slacking…but back with a vengeance

One of my own creations – a Hanky Panky Photo by me

I have been slacking on posts lately, so it is time to get back in the saddle.

First off, I am going to sing the praises of Bellwoods Social House.
My buddy Arianne Fielder is heading up the bar program, and has an all-star staff on hand.
I have not had food, but I have been in two Fridays in a row for after-work cocktails…and I am impressed.

G and Tea. Photo by Me.

Week 1 I had a G and Tea. (Ford’s Gin, Cocchi Americano, black tea, lemongrass, lemon and thyme)

Week 2 was a Kentucky Sundress. I was a little concerned that it might be a girly drink, but Alyssa and Rebecca convinced me it was basically a Manhattan. Very manly. Made with Woodford Reserve, strawberry and rosemary infused blanc vermouth, St. Germain, and orange bitters (with a green chartreuse rinse).

Next time I am going to try the old fashioned. I just always try to order things in a bar that I do not make at home (and I make a mean old fashioned).

They are also doing a really cool shot program with shots and backs inspired by bars from around Atlanta and across the country.

I have not had food yet, but the staff had a great looking Asian noodle and shrimp salad. They really seemed to like it. Other folks seem to like it quite a bit.

Bandeja paisa from Kiosco in Marietta Photo by Me.

Speaking of food, Linds and I had a date night at Kiosco in Marietta. You can see my plate was full.  I am a sucker for the Bandeja paisa. We also painted ceramics for the kiln. She won the painting contest. Results (with photos) to come in a later blog.

Quick Hits

“I didn’t have buttermilk, so I just poured baking soda into a container of raspberry yogurt. It tasted terrible.”

You’re the Worst. Is the best.

I bet your girlfriend loves the Leftovers?

Lemon Garlic Spatchcocked Chicken

The Good Doctor Cocktail

Momofuku Crack Pie

Cool things on the way in the next month or two:
Sean Brock‘s new book Heritage
Death and Company‘s New Cocktail Book
Justin Townes Earle‘s new album Single Mothers


Tonight’s Libation

This is what I will be drinking this evening:

Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler From Serious Eats

Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler

About This Recipe

YIELD: makes 1 cocktail
ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: cocktail shaker
THIS RECIPE APPEARS IN: Drinking in Season: Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler


  • 3 ounces brewed Lapsang Souchong tea, chilled
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon twist


  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine tea, lemon, ginger liqueur, whisky, and bitters. Shake for 12 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon twist and serve immediately.

A lot of meat and an”exercise high”

This is why we don't eat steak at fancy restaurants
Cowboy cut ribeyes and baked potatoes

We broke down and got a Kamado Grill, and the family is really loving it so far.  We got the Vision Pro S. I have already used it to put together some really good meals.

I had to deal with some minor medical crap at the end of the week. Luckiy it was a quick fix and I bounced back really fast.

Lindsey wrote a great post this morning about our Saturday movie night. Spoiler alert…the movies were bad.

Quick Hits

I did a teaser on Nashville hot chicken this week. I have more on that on the way soon.