All posts by Charlie Nadler

Let the Winter Games Begin

Vacation tide has long rolled out. Tourists have evaporated into thin air and been replaced with thin ice.

Welcome to the trenches.

Vineyard winter’s repetitive theme is one of enduring, plowing through, and concentrating on the Illumination Night at the end of the tunnel. It doesn’t have to be a slog, though. Sure, you could be the Detroit Lions and simply “get through” it. Or you could be the New England Patriots and steamroll the heck out of this season.

Below is a list of Island situations historically viewed as hardships, and how to easily spin them to be the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Winter on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Casting for Other Derbies

Islanders will flood out of their homes on September 13 and largely disappear until October 17. While baffling and disconcerting to some, this is anything but an episode of CSI: Menemsha. It’s the seventieth Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. The Super Bowl of the sea!

But what about the butterfingered person who can’t hide a hook with squid? Or the anti–Boy Scout who can’t tie a lure without it breaking and floating off to Portugal? The hibernating teenager whose snooze button constantly separates him from ideal tides? Amidst all the glory and energy surrounding this special event, what happens to all those non-anglers left behind to warm the bench – the “jettywarmers” so to speak? We need derbies for these outcasts who don’t cast!

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Shut Up and Eat

It is becoming harder to pass the salt. Who is available to pass it? It feels like everyone is more concerned with putting their meals on Instagram instead of in their mouths.

Equally important to social media are the accompanying social statements. Before even asking for the salt, we insist on asking what is being salted? A murdered animal, you say? Is it Aquinnah-Farm-to-Table? Did it live a blessed pre-slaughtered life filled with peaceful listening sessions of Vineyard Sound a cappella albums? Was its pasture environmentally watered? Were the farmers certified irrigation experts with health benefits? Full coverage, I presume? We’re talking dental, vision, up-Island life coach, and down-Island yoga sherpa.

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The Rest of the Best

Best Burger, Live Band, Veterinarian, Hotel – the annual Best of the Vineyard awards is a Martha’s Vineyard tradition. But the Vineyard is more than just flavorful food, engaging events, and stellar services – right? What about the idiosyncratic characters that make this place tick? The pet peeves of Islanders? The rumors that keep Islanders amused in the off-season?

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Laureates Gone Wild

With all the available posts in the Island’s Poet Laureate Industrial Complex successfully filled, and so many eclectic cross sections of the Vineyard community seemingly faceless, it’s time to implement laureate infrastructure into all walks of Martha’s Vineyard living. The possibilities, unlike haiku length, are endless.

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From Afar: A Development

“So…there’s been a development,” Cary said.

Whenever your girlfriend calls you with this sentence, the translation is crystal: “You might not be thrilled with what you’re about to hear, but I have prepared a detailed pitch for your listening pleasure…”

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From Afar: Islander from Afar

I spent 11 months summoning the courage to write my first five minutes. In retrospect, I don’t know why courage was required to tell jokes at a forgettable open mic in the back room of a dive bar, but it was.

As I wrap up my fourth year performing stand up, I am relieved to have that rookie chapter in my rear view. It feels great to shed old fears and form new, scarier goals. Or maybe I just tell myself that to rationalize my obsessive behavior that transforms every comedy milestone into a false peak.

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From Afar: Free throw for free Giordano’s pizza

Two important events are on my calendar for Saturday July 12th. One is a comedy show — at Alex’s Place at the Martha’s Vineyard YMCA — where I will be on stage approximately three times as long as I have ever been on stage. I am not anxious in the slightest, because the second event is far more nerve-wracking for me; the annual foul shot competition between my dad and me.

I can’t recall exactly when it started, but it was sometime in the mid 90’s. We were in our driveway in East Chop and decided to shoot a free throw. The loser had to buy a large cheese pizza at Giordano’s. The inaugural loser was my father.

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From Afar: Groundhog weekend: weddings, weddings and more weddings

One of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day, follows Bill Murray as he relives the same day over and over again. As I prepare to leave my twenties in the dust this summer, I find myself in a similar situation that I like to call Groundhog Weekend: all of my friends are getting married and they refuse to stop. Yes, there are some Saturdays and Sundays without nuptials, but they often include bachelor parties or me locking myself in my apartment using my taxed out, maxed out credit card as a coaster.

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From Afar: Train-sition

I’ll never forget that first solo drive. I was sixteen and a half and had miraculously received my license that morning despite leaving the emergency brake on for the majority of my road test. I took my dad’s white Geo Metro for a spin around Viera Park, glanced over at the empty passenger seat, and rejoiced in this benchmark of independence that every young child dreams about from the moment they handle their first matchbox car.

Thirteen years later I get that same feeling looking over at all the vehicles on New York City streets, but this time I am elated that none of them are mine. Any potentially deflated tires, leaky gas tanks, disintegrating brake pads, feverish radiators, geriatric clutches, and electrically-challenged taillights; replaced now by my MTA MetroCard.

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