The Year of the Hat. My annual round up of what did it for me this year…
Drank- Consistently a vodka martini with, at best, two olives. Not dirty, not dry, definitely up and perfectly benign. I started drinking these a couple of years ago and have just this year realized my perfect martini is not what I taste, but what I don’t. It has zero flavor. The ratio of vermouth to vodka has to be just so that one can neither taste the alcohol from the vodka nor the vermouthyness of the vermouth. It’s a minimalist and refreshing cocktail of liquid air that melts away the day at first sip—and seems easy enough to get right, but based on a few mmm-that’s-not-quite-its this year, it apparently isn’t. The one who got it right for me in 2014 was Naomi Kline at Pen & Quill. She makes the meanest, most glorious, delicious glass of nothing in Baltimore.
Read–The Dinner by Herman Koch. In my continuous pursuit of finding and getting lost in my next Gone Girl, I was lead to Koch’s 2009 talky page turner that Gillian Flynn described as ‘Chilling, nasty. Smart, shocking. Unputdownable.’ So there you go. And yes, if you love really uncomfortable dinner conversation and excruciating family turmoil, then you’ll love The Dinner!
Ate– The meat of my life at Doris Metropolitan in New Orleans. It’s a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth dish called ‘Fall off the Bone,’ a short rib cooked lovingly, over 24 hours to unparalleled perfection. I told Dru that it was so tender I didn’t even have to chew.
Saw– Birdman. A reminder of why I’ve loved Michael Keaton since Night Shift. It’s an elegant, claustrophobic masterpiece that doesn’t stop moving from the opening scene. Three words: Emma Stone’s eyes.
Heard– Future Islands, Singles. You can’t live in Baltimore and not give a shout out to the most ‘alive’ band in the country right now. These guys just give and give and give and seeing them live, on the street at Hampdenfest was definitely a highlight, but seeing on social how happy and successful they are out in the world, is beyond.
Experienced– flying in what felt like a sports car in the sky (do not attempt this after eating, btw). Here’s to having cousin-in-laws with Cirrus cache.
Travelled to– New York, Kansas City, New Orleans, Bogotá, Colombia, San Juan, Puerto Rico. We felt at our peak and the most sincere gratitude on an amazing job in Bogotá. When client project meets international travel meets beautiful subjects, that there is our holy ‘work trinity.’
Bought– After 3 years of pining, these No.6 boots. Polar vortex shmortex. Bring it, old lady winter.
Final Thoughts. My final post of 2014 and this entire year is dedicated to my best friend and one of our partners at Shine, Melissa Kirby. This past April she suffered a rare, debilitating brain-stem stroke and has since been fighting to gain back her life and mobility. We are astounded, but not surprised at her strength and progress and we continue to believe that she will crush this incredible challenge with the grace and force of her beautiful being. We love you Melissa and are looking forward to what 2015 holds for all of us. -Jamie Campbell