Yes, that’s right: it’s time for the annual posting of a heavily filtered headshot followed by a few words acknowledging the ever-decreasing distance between myself and death’s door.

Actually, I kid. I mean, yes, it’s true, we’re all inching closer to our final curtain call, but, at the dawn of my 47th year on planet earth, I’m not really focusing on that … partly because doing so gives me a fucking anxiety attack, but mostly because things are going rather well these days, and I’ve been finding it easier to focus on the good stuff as of late.

I’m happy to report that things at The Day Job I Never Really Wanted have gone quite well over the past year … to the point that I mostly don’t mind going there five days per week. (It’s amazing what three raises, a healthy bonus check and an extra week of paid vacation can do for morale.) Yes, I’d prefer to already be making my living as a writer … but I’ve never been crazy about the starving-artist option, especially while raising two kids in one of the most expensive areas in the country (and while simultaneously possessing a deep appreciation of fine tequila, among other costly luxuries), so I’m OK with pulling down a substantial base salary and benefits while I work out the writing thing on the side.

Meanwhile, speaking of fine tequila: I decided to celebrate my 46th birthday by downing some at Taqueria Feliz, a cool little Mexican joint located in a funky Philadelphia neighborhood known as Manayunk:

The reason these pictures look so good is because the lighting is perfect and also because I am not the person who took them. (They’re from Taqueria Feliz’s website.)

Wonder Woman and I bellied up to the bar and took full advantage of our decision to travel to and from the city via Uber. (Admittedly, one of us took greater advantage of it than the other … but, hey, when it’s your 46th birthday, and you’re not driving, and your mother-in-law has the kids for the night, and it’s your first time at a cool little Mexican joint in Philadelphia whose menu options include this …

Who needs birthday cake when you can have a mezcal flight instead? Not me, that’s who.

… you’re supposed to take full advantage of it, amiright?)

Thankfully, the menu also included some delicious Mexican food, the consumption of which is key when, after downing multiple margaritas and a mezcal flight, one wishes to wake up the next morning feeling fresh as daisies and completely devoid of anything even vaguely resembling a hangover … a feat I easily accomplished. With age comes wisdom, children.

After dinner, we decided to take a little stroll through Manayunk, a neighborhood we’ve always liked but haven’t visited in probably more than a decade. And on a nice, balmy, summer evening, that stroll would have been delightful … but on a mid-January evening when the thermometer reading was the numerical equivalent of “Holy fuck it’s cold,” the novelty of traipsing through Manayunk wore off quickly … and I’m thankful it did, because, in our haste to get out of the cold, we blindly fled into the closest pub …


FYI: This place looks much cooler at night … especially if Wonder Woman and I are seated at the bar.

… and were pleasantly surprised to discover a cozy, inviting and relatively new establishment named Craft that I can’t wait to re-visit in the very near future.

Which brings me to one of my objectives for the year ahead: I want to experience more of what Philadelphia has to offer and see if I can deepen my appreciation for, and sense of connection to, my adopted city. Saturday night was a good start.

As always, my goals also include more writing … even if some of that writing is boring, travel-log-ish stuff about my 46th-birthday celebration. Hope that’s cool with you.

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