Anyone who knows me in the slightest degree knows that I worship a good cup of coffee. I happily make large detours in order to visit my favorite coffee shop. I *may* give preferential treatment to sales reps savvy enough to bring me a latte on busy days. My family once gave me a Christmas ornament that read: Instant Human-Just Add Coffee. They have a point: I am much better prepared to seize the day-not to mention a LOT more pleasant-when I'm adequately caffeinated.
Notes From All Over
Randomly checking movie listings this week, I got a particularly sad surprise. After 33 years, Providence's Cable Car Cinema is closing, a victim of skyrocketing rents.
I sometimes tell the story of the 'worst sales presentation ever'.
Sales Rep: We have this new wine called 'Sequin'! Look-it has sequins on the bottle-it's designed to appeal to women, and so of course I thought of you! So what do you think?
Me: Ummm...where do I even start?
Completely aside from his assumption that all women like the exact same things...really? A bottle with sequins? I like my shine to come from inside, thank you very much.
I am both old enough, and (originally) rural enough to dimly remember using a party-line telephone. One elderly lady on our road, lacking other excitement in her life, would pick up her receiver no matter who the call was for, prompting a lot of 'Hang UP, Angeline!' The advent of private lines, a welcome advance for the rest of us, was a bitter disappointment to her. I cannot imagine what she'd make of cell phones.
What IS Art?
Merriam Webster defines it as: the expression or application of human creative skill or imagination. So drawing, painting, sculpting, etc all qualify as art. The performing arts-dance, music, acting-do, too. But what about wine? Are winemakers artists? I'd argue that some of them are.
Winemaking involves using creativity to manipulate a medium (grapes) in much the same way chefs use their creativity to craft food. We speak of the culinary arts, so why not the winemaking arts?
Once upon a time, two grapes mingled in a vineyard and produced an offspring so brash and bold it was destined to eclipse them both-and then some. That 'baby grape' was Cabernet Sauvignon, so ubiquitous that some people think it's synonymous with 'red wine'. Actual conversation:
'This is a Grenache'.
'What kind of Cabernet is that?'
Driving to work one morning, tuned in to NPR, I heard the host announce, 'Tomorrow, we'll be talking to the head brewer at Bully Boy.' Hmm? Bully Boy is a delightful local distillery, which makes some truly excellent spirits. They do not, however, brew. That's a different process. I think Dave Willis, Bully Boy's head distiller, would be very surprised to hear himself accused of making beer.
One of the perks of starting your own business is the ability to structure your environment to your own taste. You don't enjoy sitting? Install the desk at standing height. You're a coffee snob? Get an excellent coffee maker. Add a grinder, while you're at it. Put your bargain wine in a boat? Sure. Maybe the gin should be displayed in a bathtub...
A Small Fiction, a flash fiction site authored by James Miller, has become one of my favorite indulgences. I brew a cup of good coffee and delve into the site, where humor, logic, mysticism, and more are doled out in 140 character bursts. Yes, the same number of characters and spaces as a Twitter post, but otherwise entirely different: Miller aims to tell a small but complete story in each.
Enough, already with the snow. It's like a poorly behaved guest who arrives far later than expected, causes disruption and general mayhem, and then hangs around preventing you from going to bed. Do I sound bitter? Let me explain...
Storm #1 directly conflicted with the New York Tre Bicchieri tasting. Fans of Pour Richard's know we aren't big on critics and scores, but Tre Bicch is different; out of the many many thousands of wines released in Italy each year, a few hundred win this award. These wines are worth your time, even in a 'Bomb Cyclone' snowstorm.