I Hope I Understand – SoCS JusJoJan

This day began with bitter cold here in Connecticut, 4°f (-16°c) and David and I have been looking forward to warming up while catching up at the bar. Linda G. Hill, on the other hand, seems to want us to work harder than one would expect on a Saturday. Still, she has put bonus points on the table with her Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, so here we go:

“Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: ‘the beginning, the end.’ Write about the beginning of something and the end of something. Bonus points if your first sentence contains ‘the end’ and your last sentence contains ‘the beginning.’ <– Read that again. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, you’d be wary of the crowd.

“The end is near, Dan.”

“Football? Yeah, after the Super Bowl, we are in for a long dry spell.”

“No, that’s not what I’m talking about.”

“Are you talking about the fact that Skippy is behind the bar? It’s temporary. I’m sure Cheryl will be back next week.”

“No, but this will have the effect of mitigating Skippy.”

“So, I’m not sure I’ve ever been mitigated, is that like misinterpreted? I’ve been misinterpreted a lot.”

“Hi Skippy. I’m not sure what David is getting at, but I’d like a cold Corona and I’m guessing he’d like his regular special.”

“Right, John Howell’s bourbon and all that other junk.”

“You’re too kind to him, Dan.”

“What’s wrong with being kind, David? I think the world could use a little more kindness. Especially if, as you say, the end is near.”

“I don’t mean the end of the world, Dan.”

“So, here’s your beer, Dan – notice the double lime balance. David, here’s your bourbon, seltzer and ice. So, would you guys like anything else?”

“I would like some cherries, Skippy, if you have a chance.”

“No problem.”

“Can you raise a glass for a toast without the cherries, David, or do I have to wait?”

“Cheers, Dan.”

“So, here you go, two cherries, and I’ll even put them in the bourbon. Now I have to check the other tables.”

“Sweet mitigation. What have you been up to this week, Dan?”

“Before we get into that, can you explain your doom and gloom prognostication?”


“The end is near…Isn’t that what you said when I got here? The end of what?”

“The end of this, Dan. Look around. This bar is at Covid capacity.”

“It is more crowded than usual.”

“That’s because everything is over, and the usual things that take over when everything is over aren’t happening.”

“David, you’re not making any sense.”

“People don’t have anything to do, Dan. They’re stuck in their house working with their spouse and their kids and the pets they thought would help them get through the pandemic, and they’re going crazy. So they come here.”

“But that’s normal. They come here all year. It doesn’t matter whether they work at home or in the office, they want a break. I still don’t see what’s ending.”

“This is ending, Dan. This. You and I sitting at the bar having a drink. One more person in this place and we have nowhere to sit.”

“It’s OK, David. There are other bars.”

“So, you guys still doing ok?”

So, Skippy. We are doing fine, despite your ongoing assault on the English language.”

“So, what did I do now, David?”

“I’d say you’ve begun, but to be accurate, you’ve fallen back into your annoying habit of beginning every sentence with ‘so’ – so, pay attention to that, please.”

“So what’s wrong with so?”

“It’s not that bad, Skippy. It’s just one of David’s grammatical fixations.”

“It’s not a grammatical fixation, Dan. It’s annoying. It’s also a little pretentious, as if the person using it is summarizing something us lay people wouldn’t understand.”

“David, do you really think Skippy knows anything you wouldn’t understand?”

“Right, um, I mean, um, Dan, that didn’t sound very nice.”

“I didn’t mean to offend, Skippy. ‘So,’ in your case is like ‘um’ in your reaction. It’s a crutch-word you’re using to avoid an uncomfortable pause.”

“Oh. OK, I guess.”

“Did you work the bar last night, Skippy?”

“Sssss, yes, David, I did.”

“Was it crowded?”

“Sss, it was packed. In fact, the crowd in the lounge was a little too big.”

“How so, Skippy?”

“So, Dan, I mean…”

“Start over. How so, Skippy?”

“I’m the only one wearing a mask, and I’m not high on the list to get vaccinated, so working in a crowd scares me a little.”

“That’s a good point. I think we’re ready for another round.”

“There, Dan. Do you see what I mean?”

“What, David?”

“The bar was packed last night. It’s at capacity today. The patio won’t open for two more months. This place, our stools will soon be untenable.”

“It might be a passing thing, David. It might just be some people still celebrating the election and others still trying to drown their sorrow.”

“I think it’s more than that, Dan. Except for the fact that it keeps Skippy busy, this can’t be a good sign.”

“The bar’s making money. That means it will stay open. That’s a good sign.”

“Not if people start getting sick, and not if we start skipping Saturdays.”

“Saturday is an event; it doesn’t have to happen here.”

Cheryl works here. There are other bars, but there aren’t other Cheryls, Dan.”

“In other words, you still think the end is near?”

“I do. Look around, I think this is the beginning.”

Note: In fact, in real life, I had to find another bar last week. My regular stomping ground was at capacity. The good news, I ordered a pastrami grinder for dinner and it was delicious.


  1. Hi Dan – just here to comment on the snow – love seeing it! Just glad it’s not here … and that moon shot is wonderful. All the best – Hilary

    Liked by 3 people

  2. 9° here this morning. It’s cold. I’m guessing Maddie will need her heaviest coat this weekend. :-) Love the pine branch in the snow. We haven’t been ‘in” a restaurant since March 2020. We do take out but don’t yet feel comfortable going inside. I’ve got curbside grocery pickup this morning and a trip to recycling. That’s about as frisky as I feel comfortable with until we get the vaccine. Stay well and that grinder sure sounded good. We picked up meatball sandwiches yesterday, and they were definitely good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was 1°f when I took Maddie out this morning. Her feet got so cold walking around the back yard, that she started limping a bit. We haven’t walked since Thursday, and we may not until Monday. I am mostly getting takeout from restaurants, but I have been comfortable waiting at the bar for the order to be ready. Last week, the bar was just too crowded. Usually, when I’m there, it’s almost empty. I have been out for breakfast, but the tables are spread out far enough that I’m not concerned. The grinder was good. In fact, I’m secretly hoping my normal place is crowded again today ;-)

      Stay warm, Judy and stay safe.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. All kidding aside, small pubs and bars are hurting. Our local is so small, if there are 6 other people there we feel crowded and leave. Now please excuse me while I go delete a thousand “so” sentence starters on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! To be honest, it’s the late afternoon life. My nightlife days are behind me. Cherries in bourbon aren’t bad. A good friend of mine introduced me to bourbon. He always asked for cherries. I wouldn’t normally choose that, but he did and if he ordered bourbon for you, it would no doubt arrive with cherries. I adopted that choice for David.


      • Well, since we are talking about bourbon, I really don’t like it. I discovered that with my last bottle of Buffalo Trace, considered a decent bourbon.

        I’m more of a Scotch, Irish Whiskey drinker. I like Glenlevit 12, but can rarely afford a bottle.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s interesting. I used to be a big fan of Scotch. Then one day I decided I really didn’t like it. I switched back to just drinking beer. 30 years later, my friend talked me into trying bourbon. If I lose interest in bourbon, I might go with tequila ;-)


    • I have had Willett Reserve, Frank, it’s pretty good. I like a variety of bourbons. The best bourbon the real bar has is Blanton’s, and they don’t always have it on the shelf.


  4. Excellent bar visit this week. Looks like David is maybe training Skippy. I noticed the S-man relapsed when he talked to Dan, but David has him watching his p’s and q’s — Or should I say his so’s and No problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always wanted Skippy to be the bartender nobody liked. Then he managed to gain some fans. Now I feel like I can’t be too hard on the guy. David might have to get a new pet peeve, or go back to picking on me. In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Skippy is just irritating. You didn’t make him a skunk. You’re too nice a guy to make Skippy a real stinker. Too late now. You’ll have to add a new bartender who insults Cheryl or something equally unforgivable.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahaha – The funny thing is, Skippy was modeled after the worst bartender I ever met. The day I met him, I also met my friend Brad Lewis (that’s why Skippy’s real name is Brad). Brad was the first person to like my Skippy. He comments on the blog’s facebook page and he often asks “when are we going to see Skippy?” You just can’t control characters.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Great job with the prompt! Yikes, David sounds like he’s going ’round the bend. Poor guy. Maybe if Skippy wore a “Cheryl” mask , David would feel better……or not!

    Really like the shot of the moon behind the tree and, of course, Maddie checking out Mother Natures gift. Seven degrees here, so Murphy was in and out as fast as her three legs would carry her!

    ‘Your’ squirrels certainly know how to charm you with their cuteness to be rewarded with peanuts. 🤗

    Hope you all are warm and cozy. Hope too the snow accumulation is on the low side of the forecast.

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. David likes to pick on Skippy. He just misses Cheryl. He’ll get over it. He’s one of those people who doesn’t like change.

      It was ZERO when the Editor took Maddie out. She refused to do all her business. I took her out an hour or so later, when it was all the way up to 1° – she took care of business and we got back in quick.

      The squirrels were only out for about an hour yesterday, once it was up to 17° or 18° – They were in a no-nonsense “just the peanuts ma’am” mood. It’s hard for them to find food when there’s snow on the ground, but we’re soft touches – they aren’t going to starve.

      We will likely have a fire in the wood stove again today, at least for a little while.

      Take care, and stay warm!


  6. Sooooo, Dan, I may need to join Rivergirl and go edit a few posts. Thanks a lot!

    During last Sunday’s football game (the loss still stings), the bars were packed with people, most of whom were not wearing masks. Green Bay is going to have a spike of Covid cases by the end of this coming week, as may other cities in this state. Meanwhile, a certain political party has been trying to repeal the state’s mask mandate, even though scientists, doctors and most citizens prefer to have it in place. It’s crazy here.

    Stay safe wherever you go, Dan. Don’t take any chances, even for a beer or a bowl of yummy clam chowder. We all need you here at the virtual bar on Saturdays and showing us pets, critters and doors during the week. Take care and have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about the “so” issue, Mary. Skippy was channeling a former coworker who used to drive me nuts. David is always the bad guy. The funny thing is, Joan, over at Story Empire wrote a post about “Pesky Words” yesterday and she explained “So” and “Well” – I felt compelled to tell her I didn’t steal the idea from her.


    • I had to edit the previous comment to add the link. The idea of rolling back these mandates makes me cringe. I simply do not understand what’s so bad about wearing masks. I have a tour I’m going to try to go on this week. If it’s at all crowded, I won’t go. If I do go, I think I will wear a double mask. I am trying to stay safe and sane, and it’s not always easy to do both.

      That game still stings here, too. Not as bad as when the Steelers lost, but bad. All I can say is KC better win.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re also starting to double mask, only because of the people who aren’t as careful as us and because of the new variant strain. Repealing the mask mandate is schoolyard politics from politicians who only want to do the opposite of our Democratic governor. They do this because they are in power here and can. It’s disgusting and I keep hoping that enough people are also disgusted that we can get some out of office in the years to come. This political BS has to end for the good of all people.

        Go KC!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I will go with the beginning and the end of this phase of the virus. Listening to the news it is in various phases of mitigation just like Skippy. And just like the shortage of bartenders in times of covid staffing that depends on the size of the bar and – er the country. I didn’t say ‘so’. And I might be saving that for later at the beginning. Europe’s vaccine distribution sounds to be as chaotic as our own. The variants from South Africa and Brazil are here. And more are being identified. The World Health Organization is raising the question about vaccination for those other small bars – er countries. Now to drift back to the sports metaphor it is starting to look like round one of a world wide scrum with the virus. Will the vaccines or the virus win ? And what will things look like as we pick ourselves up and go into round two ? Because around here – er the world mitigation and precautions look varied and localized. And the virus listens to none of that. We are talking a big scattered herd with too many herd to herd emissaries. I will be right back I need to check with the editor on some word choices and make sure we have reached the beginning. Good one Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. You’ve illustrated nicely the reason I don’t try to write serious blog posts or blog posts about serious subjects. They pay people a lot of money to understand this stuff, and those people don’t seem to be doing a very good job. What chance would I have?

      Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those shots sure looked chilly. Gotta wonder about the folks who don’t clean the walks. The same group that doesn’t take in their trash cans, I suppose. Where is the picture of the grinder? How can I live vicariously through your eating adventures if there is no photo? Thanks for the mention, as always. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew someone was going to ask about the grinder. Truth is, by the time I remembered about wanting a picture, I had taken several bites. I promise, I will be having another in the not too distant future. I wish the town would ticket folks who don’t clear their walks the law says it has to be clear within 8 hours after the storm ends.

      I do our walk, and the two neighbors to the west. One is a (older than me) widow whose husband would do our walk if I was traveling, and the other is our 95-yr-old neighbor. The next guy up is in his 50s, he doesn’t do his walk, and I’m not going to.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Geeze Louise, four degrees? 😱🥶I imagine David is right in more than one way. I foresee a surge once a lot of people get vaccinated and feel invincible. We’ll see. Okay, nice snow photos. Will that huge storm affect you guys at all? So we had 28 earthquakes here yesterday! 😯We only felt four though, lots of gnarly wind rushing through. Power was out for 10 hours overnight and into the morning. Happy Saturday, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re not sure what this storm will do. I guess it depends on whether it simply blows out to sea or if it decides to recharge and turn back on us. We’ve had 3 earthquakes that we could feel, in the 40 years I’ve lived here. That’s plenty. Here in CT, I’m sure they will keep the mask mandate in place throughout most of this year. I don’t know when they might start opening things up a little more. We’re at 50% occupancy. They had talked about moving to 75% but they didn’t do it. I think once outdoor dining is feasible again, things will be fine. Then, maybe they can reduce the restrictions before next winter.


  10. I looked at the ‘two limes artfully balanced’ and thought ‘that looks like something Skippy would do’ and lo and behold….Skippy is tending bar! Once a Toastmaster, always a Toastmaster ’cause NPR used to drive me nuts. Anytime someone started to answer a question asked by the host, 9 times out of 10 they would start their response with either ‘so’ or ‘right.’ Talk about irritation!!
    Not to be morbid, but I just finished a book written by a doctor who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. After one type of chemo stopped working, the doctor panicked. I thought his treating physician worded it rather nicely: “Don’t think of this as the beginning of the end. Think of it as the end of the beginning.” There were other options to try so she did not want her patient to give up. Isn’t that weird how, out of the entire book, one sentence sticks in your head?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This did bring back lots of Toastmasters memories, Lois including the first club I was a member of where the Ah Counter dropped a marble into a glass bottle everything you said “ah” or “um.”

      Skippy is the master of the two lime balance.

      It is funny what we remember.

      I hope you’re having a nice weekend.


  11. Okay, I take exception to the So.  I use it more than I should, but I like it, so, who’s counting?  I love Skippy.  That look on the squirrel is a fake plea.  They bury their food, but they can’t find a peanut in snow?🥸😁. John needs to lighten up on poor Skippy😃 Maybe it is the beginning of the end…in the last month, my tv blew out, and last night my phone went blank, SO now useless. Loveya!🤓

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I think things are in a bit of a mess in MA right now. How can my home state of WV have more than an 80% effective rate in distributing the vaccine, and here we are at 40-something%. We aren’t opening up like you are, which may be a good thing or a bad thing. Hard to tell. Love the photos, especially the full moon and the C-130. Lookin’ like a snow day here on Tuesday. Best to you, Dan. And pick up the tab next week for David.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It looks like we have snow coming Monday into Tuesday, too, Jennie. They still don’t seem to know how much, but the estimates are growing. I think CT is doing a pretty good job with the distribution, but we’re waiting on supply. I’m not sure who paid for today’s drinks, but I’ll pick up the tab next week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s good to hear that CT’s distribution is working well. I think everyone is waiting for supply. Thank’s for picking up the tab next week. I think David needs a bit of cheer. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. In my transcription practice tapes, it super irritating to have to deal with someone that says “so” before almost every statement. Most of the time, I make a judgement call to delete it if I can.
    Love the snow, as long as it’s just a picture to look at 😘 You sure got your share! Poor Maddie, I hope her paws are ok!
    We have been going out to our favorite places since they opened back up last year, to the grocery store, and other places and neither of us has had any issues. We get our margarita fix every Thursday AT LEAST but not in a bar. Here, we just have to go to a restaurant that serves alcohol. We could make them at home, but they never taste the same. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the only bars that are open here are the ones that are part of a restaurant, although one local bar started selling hot dogs so they could open.

      Back in the mid-1980s I was deposed as part of a consulting project. When I got the transcript to review, I was mortified at number of ‘ahs’ and ‘ums’ in there.

      We have been careful, but we’ve been going to the places we can as we were before. It’s just that those places are pretty quiet.

      It’s funny, even a bottle of Corona tastes better when sitting at a bar.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. “The end is near, Dan,” was a good hook. Then the anticipation of what he was talking about, kept me curious. I like how you tried to be nice to Skippy and calm David’s fears. Brrrr to the snow pictures. The low here in the south had been in the 20s for two nights. I’m ready to winter to end and spring to begin. Just a few more weeks!


  15. I live in CT also, except I have been in FL for the past three weeks. I’m happy not to be there. My daughter goes door to door for a solar company and has had to be out in this cold weather! Now that I think of it, CT is offering a free solar program. If you know anyone who wants solar installed for free let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I used to work with someone who in meetings would say “so to be clear” right before she gave us a verbal spanking. That and “words matter”. Of course they do but with her she would poke holes in everything while issuing more “so to be clear”. Doh 🙄. I’m glad one of us moved on.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Love the shot of Mumu. As much as I’d like to make a visit to a bar serving craft beer or somewhere like that, that won’t be happening for some time unless they have an outdoor area. Right now, I’m happy that California is opening up a bit so that I can get out there soon to visit our daughter and son-in-law soon at their new apartment near the beach. :-) Other than that, life’s the same here.


    Liked by 1 person

    • We have a couple local breweries, but I’m not sure if they are allowed to have customers at their bars, since they don’t serve food. The bar I visit is in a restaurant. I’m glad you’ll be able to visit your daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Dang… I can’t top Ally’s comment. That was brilliant! LOL! That’s so cool that you know the name of a plane flying overhead. And that you found an alternative bar. And that your sidewalks are clear and ready for the next round of snow. You’re well prepared for this year, you’ve got all the bases covered! Cheers!


  19. Things are opening up! I’m happy about that, but not about wearing masks and gloves still. I am so looking forward to enough people being vaccinated or have had Covid-19 so we can all go without masks again. I miss seeing faces!

    Some of our neighbors don’t play by the rules either regarding shoveling their sidewalk parts. It’s a bit annoying so, I’ve taken to walking in the street where it’s not as icy and slippery if the sidewalk isn’t clear.

    Hopefully, you sit at your local this week, and Cheryl will be at the bar for you and David next week. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • The bar was crowded again on Saturday, so I went elsewhere. My (real) buddy texted my on Sunday and we met for a couple hours to catch up. We have to play it by ear for a while. Once it gets warmer, the crowd will move to the patio.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I find that I’m often Googling to see who’s still open. We have not been kind to ALL of our places, which is a shame, but not everything is takeout material and some places are just too far for The Mister who enjoys hot food hot. I’m happy to say someone’s been filling our void at those places.
    So, like, so is bad and I shouldn’t start sentences that way and really shouldn’t Well as often as I do either, so, well, I guess I won’t join David for a bourbon or whatever ;)

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts or join the discussion. One relevant link is OK, more require moderation. Markdown is supported.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.