Sunday, November 12, 2006

gimme an "F" - gimme an "S" - gimme an "S"

There's always a long list of things that I want to do in a weekend.
And most of them get tabled.

Because I forget in the midst of the life maintenance things and the neato people to meet and neato things to see that there is the need to unwind. The need for downtime.

F: Nancy and Chuck

This weekend was originally going to begin with an event sponsored by "The Men's Journal." A presentation from a guy who took a long trip to Madagascar. Drinks and snacks provided by Chivas. The RM and I had this theory that perhaps an event like this might be where the boys ... er ... Men are. We RSVP'd and everything.

I think we didn't go because I was feeling weird, ill, anti-social and unappealing. We went instead to the other planned activity of the evening - happy hour drinks at the Nancy Whiskey Bar with co-workers. The Nancy Whiskey Bar is a divey bar with loft are seating that is perfect for short people. A great place to get fatty foods, throw back some drinks, sing along to loveable songs blasting from the jukebox, argue about politics and other stupid bullshit with know-it-alls (provided that you have friends of that sort). Our coworkers are too sensible to argue politics or stupid bullshit. So we went with talking about work and other things that I could not hear in the din of the room. I canvassed those at the table who had spent time in the UK to see if the boys are cuter in Oxford or Cambridge. Simple question. No one seems to have an answer.

The Hero BLT sandwich there has two pounds of bacon on an enormous hero roll. The fries are big wedges of potato with a hint of crisp.

It reminded me of a couple of my favorite saloons in CU. For once I felt very much at home drinkin' in the City.

Weaving back from there I spent the evening bringing closure to the reading of my most recent book for the train: Chuck Klosterman IV:Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas." He's be my train companion for some time now. Witty, sharp, smart, insightful, slightly curmudgeonly, difficult, and very much a guy. I almost missed my subway stop many times whilst reading. And disgraced myself during the commute by laughing out loud and often. Plus most of the essays are short enough to allow the reading of several during my commute.

Sometimes I wonder if his ideas would spin out into greater and deeper dimension if he was not writing about pop culture for Spin.

Sa: Lazed and Cornfused

I knew that there were things I should do/wanted to do: Practicing singing and playing guitar, flyering, laundry, cleaning, shopping for lightbulbs and other essentials, yoga, mailing bills, working on my nanowrimo word count, seeing more of New York, seeing more of Brooklyn, finding a show to attend, working, answering emails, calling friends, and on and on and on.

But I ended up dragging around the house, eating donuts, Budding sliced meat sandwiches, and watching "L'auberge Espanol." A cute movie about a french grad student who studies abroad in Barcelona for a year. It's one of those unstructured movies where stuff happens, then he goes home, and somehow that year changes his life.

Maybe if I had studied abroad for a year during college my life would be changed as well. Although perhaps my life has seen enough changes as it is.

Barcelona is on my list of places to visit. After the movie, I am mentally circling it and bumping it higher up.

Then off to the coffee shop to attempt to put some words behind me for Nano. I am up to a platry 6.5k quite a bit off from the 20k I ought to have. A pathetic showing compared to last year. Next year I will have an outline of the overall story arc to use as my guide.

The shop was very warm and crowded. Apparently killing time in coffee shops with slouchy furniture is just the thing for a Saturday. A few fellas tried to engage the RM in conversation with limited success as she was engrossed in a new book. And I would occassionally grimace at the poor guy and then get back to typing or websurfing.

And back home to watch a very sad Nature documentary called "Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History".
Eat more Budding Sandwiches and Lollygag around.

Su: It's a Wine World

And on this rainy grey day, I went to a wine tasting. An alumni wine tasting. I was pleasantly surprised to run into a few people that I know and meet a few new people. I don't know squat about wine. A lifetime of drinking fruit juice and soda means that I bring a pretty childish point of view to the whole wine tasting experience. Most of what I know comes from what I recall in drinking it myself, reading "Wine For Dummies," and the opinions of my friends who loooove wine.

As far as I can tell:

Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, thick and taste like a punch in the face.
Pinot Noirs taste like dirt, are thinner and lighter. Dry with less after taste.
Beaujolais are very very light and watery. Grapey without tasting sweet.
Zinfandels, the red ones, taste green like grass or moss or the smell of a forest after a good rain.
Merlots are bright reds in flavor, not necessarily in color.
Malbec (at least the one I had that one time ...) is a sweet red.

Kabinett is fruity, sweet and straightforward.
Riesling is fruity, often pretty sweet, but can have other aspects to it.
Gewurtztraminer can be fruity but has a little bite to it, more non-fruity flavors. A crispness at the end.
Pinot Gris is a subtle almost invisible wine.
Chardonnays are white wines that try very hard to be taken seriously. The oaky ones would slap you where a Cab would punch you.

The rest of them are a mystery to me. I tasted an amarone once that was just beautiful, though I can't remember why. It was very expensive too. Maybe that was why.

A syrah, a grenache, a sauvignon blanc, sangiovese, chianti, and ... ? I am at a loss.

I don't know much of the terminology associated with tasting. I got in trouble once for describing a wine as "metallic." It tasted like aluminum foil. No joke. I tend to classify wines as "friendly" or "unfriendly." And of course with my low alcohol tolerance I end up weaving over the table hoping that I am not spitting at people as I speak with them or braying like a jackass. Really, I should learn to spit gracefully. The thing that I wonder about wine tasting is to what degree it really gives you a feel for a particular wine. To me the last sip of a glass is different from the first. The third glass a little different from the second. And throw in some cheese or a plate of spaghetti into the mix and everything shifts yet again.

There was a wine at the tasting that literally smelled a little like vienna sausage or canned ham. I find it interesting that white wines are described as tasting like pale or yellow things like apples or pears or butter while red wines are described as tasting like berries or cherries. But rarely have I had a red wine that tastes sweet or tart or sour. I don't know what else there is there is about red fruits that is in red wine that I am missing.

At this moment I contemplate keeping better track of what I like, the varietals, the kinds of words that would be associated with those wines. When you reach a certain age wine becomes a thing you have. And at that age it's good to have some idea of what you like - because wine turns out to be incredibly subjective and leaving the choosing up to someone else could make for an "unfriendly" bottle and an evening spent trying not to make the *ick* face after each sniff or swallow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing you haven't learned to spit gracefully...otherwise you wouldn't have been able to snub the snobs so well!! ;-)