Now the long horns are gone,
And the drovers are gone,
The Comanches are gone,
And the outlaws are gone,
Geronimo is gone,
And Sam Bass is gone,
And the lion is gone,
And the red wolf is gone.
-Don Edwards, Coyotes
Steve Lee Swift — the man’s name alone sounds like a fusillade of quick blows. Known to all as “Sifu,” which is Cantonese for “Master Instructor,” he is a grandmaster of Wing Chun Kung Fu, a traditional Chinese martial art form that turns its student into a battering ram. The signature of the discipline is the rapidity of its movements. If you were to throw a serious punch at Sifu Swift, it would miss him before he proceeded to punch you back eight times in one second.
Have you ever tried to control a room full of elementary students? It’s like herding cats, except you also have to teach the cats math and they all have cell phones. Jen Goetz of Styled4Bliss was a teacher for two decades, so she learned how to maintain total control over a complicated, social situation. That’s why she is now a damn good wedding and event planner.
I would not be so brazen as to suggest that we ought to discount cultures which haven’t got booze. I am certain that there are lovely things to appreciate about Brunei and Bahrain, where barbaric prohibitions are in effect, while you’re sober as a judge, but who would argue that embracing foreign cultures isn’t more fun while you’re half in the bag? Many people, I’m sure, but I don’t espouse such puritanical sensibilities.
“Give me Swedes, snuff and whiskey, and I’ll build a railroad through hell.”
-James J. Hill
I’ve been welcomed to very few mansions in my lifetime. I went to one in Tuxedo, NY a few years ago to help to film a banker asking for donations to some foundation. He rightly asked not to have his palace in the background, lest his plea for donations should lose a great deal of its urgency. I once visited another in Minneapolis to ask its resident to invest in rental housing in Milwaukee. He declined, but only after showing me his secret wine cellar, walk-in liquor closet, and custom cherub garden fountain that he had made in his image, complete with an unmentionable spout. But the absolute cake taker, the most impressive mansion I’ll ever be allowed to sully with my proletarian presence, is the James J. Hill House in St. Paul.