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For most of us who grew up in the 70s, James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” was one of those songs that became like a puzzle to figure out. The lyrics were ambiguous, and we had no real way to uncover their meaning other than to think about them, and talk about them, and draw our own conclusions. Taylor’s mention of “Susanne” in the first stanza led many of us to believe that she must have been a love interest of...

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Released in 2015, Brooklyn is a Sundance film that was directed by John Crowley, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby that’s based on Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name. It tells the story of a young Irish immigrant named Eilis (Ay-lish) Lacey, played so beautifully by Saorise (Ser-sha) Ronin, who also starred in last year’s critically acclaimed Ladybird. If you’ve seen the movie, you may be scratching your head right now trying to remember a bar scene. If you’re coming...

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the song “Trouble Me” by the 10,000 Maniacs, in which I said that I thought it was one of the greatest songs ever written about relationships. One particular line in that post caught people’s attention, and I’ve had a number of conversations about it. I wrote, “Although our intentions may be good, keeping things that trouble us from the person we love will only end up building walls between us, rather...

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You already know where I’m going with today’s post; in fact, you’re already singing along, right?? “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” was the lead track on the album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme in 1966, but it was not released as a single until 1968 after it had appeared on the soundtrack for the movie The Graduate. I didn’t become aware of this song until it was included as part of the Greatest Hits album, which I listened to on repeat during the...

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Occasionally we’ve all found ourselves in the unfortunate position of being at a bar, or a party, or the dreaded wedding reception where we don’t know a soul. It’s the most awkward feeling in the world, right? We try to act cool, and casual, as if we totally belong in this completely foreign environment, but inside all we want to do is run out the door as fast as our feet can take us there. This happened to me not...

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Arriving at the idea behind today’s post has been something of a journey for me, but it’s one that I hadn’t realized that I’d embarked on until my thoughts suddenly became very familiar. I wanted to write about the way in which we take stock of our lives, and how we’ll know in the end whether we’ve fully been aware of life’s most important moments. What is the measure we should use? Since so much of our modern world is...

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I promised that when I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a great bartender, I’d write a Monday Masters post. Movie Bars will be back next week. I’ve been spending some time recently in Bordentown, NJ at a bar and restaurant called Marcello’s. I knew from the first time I met Andy Angellella that he was the kind of bartender that I absolutely love. For me, it all begins with the greeting and being made to feel comfortable....

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The other day I pilfered a copy of The Essential Rumi from my daughter Wendy’s bookshelf. This is one of the benefits of having a child who is extremely well-read. It’s literally like having a library at your disposal. She’s unaware that I “borrowed” her book, but if she’s reading this post then she certainly knows it now. Rumi was a 13th century philosopher and theologian who just happens to have written truly beautiful poetry that is extremely relevant to...

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To say that I spend time thinking about relationships between people is a true statement, wouldn’t you agree? So many of my posts are written about the subject of love, whether it’s romantic (that’s my favorite), or platonic, or what we feel for our children or our parents. Human interaction fascinates me, especially because the relationship that exists between any two people is something that has presence, weight, and importance, yet it has no real substance. It’s impossible to measure,...

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One of the best parts of doing these Movie Bar posts is that I get the opportunity to watch some of my favorite films again and see them in a totally new light. The subject of this week’s post, Midnight in Paris, is certainly no exception. Released to much critical acclaim in 2011, the movie was written and directed by Woody Allen, and actually won the Oscar that year for Best Original Screenplay. I watched it the first time around...

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