Tuesday, March 4, 2008

'Gusto' Manifesto

"I want to lead an interesting life."

So began one entry in a journal I began in 1995, the year I left the United States to begin working in Europe.

The sentiment was sincere, even if the words were banal.

So far, I think I'm succeeding.

I live and work in a foreign country that always surprises me.

I travel a lot.

I share my life with a gorgeous woman, Daisy, and her bright and beautiful daughter, Emma.

I like to eat and drink and write and take photographs. I'm an amateur bartender.

I play squash and cycle and am eager, if a little nervous, to get back on the golf course again after a year or two hiatus.

To put it simply, I find life interesting. I've always said how much fun it is to be an adult. You can do whatever you feel like doing. No one can tell you no. And I feel like I'm in a race to experience it all before something happens.

As I wrote rather melodramatically in my journal in 1995, "When are the bad things coming?"

I'm a passionate man, and I am passionate about many things. I can talk for hours about one of my literary heroes, Ernest Hemingway, appreciating the flinty prose in his early work while dismissing the mushy self-parody of his later novels. I can also talk at length about Froot Loops, and why it's the best breakfast cereal ever created.

I love listening to Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Stravinsky, but also The Doors, AC/DC, Steve Reich, Maximo Park and Lucinda Williams.

You can even find the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls on my iPod.

I've gone hot-air ballooning, scuba diving, whitewater rafting, and bunjee-jumping. I once drove a BMW 850i at 150 mph (240 kph) on the autobahn. I spent four weeks reporting from Afghanistan in 2002, and once performed my own jokes onstage at a comedy club. (Guess which one was scarier.)

In short, I like to think that I approach life with a certain, well, gusto, while also trying not to take myself too seriously.

It's always fun to hang out with others who share the same interests you do. That's why I created this blog. And I hope that's why you've stopped by.

As Papa himself said, "My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way."

That's a worthy goal, truly.

Let's get started.


  1. Cool, looking forward to reading this blog :)

  2. Thanks very much! It's a work in progress, and my "nose job" has kept me away from it for a bit, but I do hope you keep coming back!

  3. Love the Gusto Blog Grant!
    I recall a bit of this Gusto in its infancy on the Bristol Channel cliffs somewhere between Swansea and Cardiff in ' image that still haunts me!

  4. Hi, Michael! Perhaps I should post a photo of that "gusto" moment from long ago!

  5. March 4, eh?

    Well, that's as good a day to start something as any, I suppose. ;-D

    My Maternal Granny was born on that day, in 1897, and lived an good, long, and interesting life.

    I was born the next day, 63 years later. ;-D

    Like you, I to, use my blogs to share my, hopefully, interesting life, and opinions.

    Having long since discovered your BikeBlog, I'm making sure readers of my other one discover the fascinating, and thought provoking place you are building here. ;-D

  6. Hey, there, MM.

    Thanks for the kind words. And you've got quite a blog yourself! Keep it up.

  7. I came across your site while researching Cinque Terre and was sidetracked by all of the interesting topics and pictures. Keep it up! Thank you, Mari

  8. Hi, Mari,

    Thanks so much for your kind words!

    All the best.