Thursday, June 30, 2005

What ice cream flavor am I? Lick me and find out...

You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
You are kind, popular, and generous.
You tend to be successful at anything you try.
A social butterfly, you are great at entertaining a crowd.
You are most compatible with strawberry ice cream.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Parsley Game: The Return of the Fling

Yesterday when I was out to dinner with friends something happened that hadn't happened in a while...the triumphant return of "The Parsley Game". The parsley game is when you take your parsley garnish and fling it onto a co-diners plate without them noticing. It's silly, I know, but it can be fun...especially with backhanded tosses, fake-outs, behind the back, etc. "The Parsley Game" - Try it today!
(Other garnishes may be substituted for the parsley, but parsley seemingly has the fullest effect. It's harder to throw accurately than many other garnishes.)

The Jello Game-
Another fun thing to do while dining out is to buy a random person an order of Jello. I think I heard about it from Penn & Teller years ago. Just tell your server, "I'd like to buy that person a Jello". Watch the quizzical expression on their face and let the good times ensue.
(Don't try to to substitute Jello with another dessert item as the resultant facial expression just isn't the same. Diners and 24-hour joints seem to be the best places to find Jello on the menu. Bonus points if it's in one of those rotating glass dessert display cases. Try not to send Jello to a Muslim or Jew if you can help it.)


Random Poll: Icky Vermin Version

A question was posed at my friend Brian's last night...
Would you rather live in a house with cockroaches or rats?
The question was later expanded to include sharks, but lets just focus on roaches and rats...


Managing my moist manliness, fireflys, blackouts, La Shish, and fudgy goodness.

Oy vay Maria! It's hot! It's damn hot! It's humid! It's nasty! It's been a rough week as the weather has been wreaking havoc on my body and soul. Weather like this, as far as I can imagine, belongs only in the Mississippi Delta or the Amazon. It was more hot and moist than a frugs bum in a Florida swamp in the middle of August. The weather has zapped my energy and I've been trying to manage my moist manliness. A tough chore, indeed.

Last Wednesday was the memorial service for my friend's mother. Although such occasions are never enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination, it was as warm and comforting as you could hope it to be. I never met my friend's mother, as is the case with many of my friends, but she must've been a fantastic person. Her son's demeanor is a testament to her as he's probably the nicest guy on the planet. A large contingency of friends showed up to support our friend. The service was nice and familial. I held up pretty well, but the bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace" was like a punch in the stomach. I love bagpipes (you either love them or hate them), but they're an instrument sure to conjure up emotion...especially when it's "Amazing Grace". A large number of us got together at our friends' house for food and camaraderie. I couldn't possibly imagine what it would be like to lose my mother. My heartfelt condolences go out to my friend.

Thursday royally sucked! I had to work 14 hours. I went in at 7:00Am and left at 9:00PM. I had to work on a shitty quartery project (a wine club). It really, really, really sucked. I also went to bed late due to the memorial service/dinner. It was actually early for me, but I had intended on going to bed earlier.

Friday at the restaurant was pretty insane. We got slammed for about an hour and a half. Nuts!

I only had to work 5 hours on Saturday (went in late) because I was scheduled to do mandatory inventory on Sunday. I got home around 9:30PM and the power went out at about 9:45PM. I got the candles lit inside and went outside on the front porch with Huey (the landlords were at a concert). It was still hot and nasty, but there was a slight breeze to help alleviate the swampy dampness. Although the lights were out in the neighborhood it was still obvious what a problem there is with light pollution in the area. It was night, but I could still see. Looking into the woods across the street is was dark and there was a cacophony of humming mosquitos and clicking bugs and the fireflys were weaving a Thomas Kinkaidian tapestry like a Lite Brite. Apparently the light projected from a firefly's ass comes from a chemical reaction from mixing bodily fluids...that doesn't sound very romantic, but I guess it's more likely than a bunch of microscopic electrical engineers living in a firefly's ass. That was pretty cool until the mosquitos decided to ravage my body. I want to be ravaged...but not by mosquitos.

The power came back on a couple of hours later. I got online and was posting to this blog when the power went out (I was about 7/8 of the way through). That sucked! And now I can't get online (wireless) at home. Hopefully my landlords will just have to reset their modem/server/whatever thingy. I hope they didn't get surge.

I ran errands yesterday planning my day around going in to work at 5:30 for inventory. I got home from errands and my roommate told me that inventory was canceled. That was cool! But I would have planned my day differently had I known. I was, luckily, able to make it to my friend Brian's 35th b-day dinner at La Shish. Over 20 people showed up and a good time was had by all. Some of us went to Brian's afterward for talk, laughs, ghosts, and fudge.

Really, really, really, really, really looking forward to vacation...I bought a ton of mosquito repellent so I'm good to go...


Damn blackouts!!!

I had a really good post going last night. It was quite long and I was about 7/8 done with it when the power went out. Damn it! I lost the whole thing. Now I can't get online (wireless). There's an issue with the server or something else with my landlord's setup. Luckily I turned everything off and unplugged the appropriate stuff as my roommates old computer fried itself after a couple of power outages/surges. I hope that my landlords' stuff isn't fried. Luckily/unluckily I still haven't canceled my AOL dial-up account (I forgot). Now that I've seen the light I don't ever want to have to use dial-up again. I may not be posting as frequently this week until some of these issues are resolved.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Slanguage profile...

Your Slanguage Profile

Aussie Slang: 100%
British Slang: 50%
Canadian Slang: 50%
Victorian Slang: 50%
New England Slang: 25%
Prison Slang: 25%
Southern Slang: 0%

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Just another personality test...

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

...not so much.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My alcohoroscope...

Your Virgo Drinking Style

Hey brainiac, you are compelled to impose order onto your bender.
Your famously fussy quest for purity could lead to drinking less than other signs, sure...
But it could also lead to drinking booze neatly (like sucking down organic wine or having extreme brand loyalty).
You rarely get fully shellacked -- but, oh, when you do!

Virgo's controlled by the intellect, but there's an unbridled beast lurking within, and they let it loose when walloped. It's dead sexy (and surprisingly unsloppy). As one Virgo friend used to declare, "I'm going to drink myself into a low level of intelligence tonight." A toast to the subgenius IQ!
Your Signature Cocktails
Many Virgos prefer clear, simple, untreacly drinks like vodka tonic or a real margarita, though you can be found drinking anything from unflinchingly downing Cuervo straight to smirkingly ordering a dirty virgin. You also tend to like bitter, low-alk guzzles like Campari and soda. However, you rarely change your signature drink once you've found it.
Your Celebrity Drinking Buddies
Cameron Diaz, Hugh Grant, Keanu Reeves, Nicole Richie, Bill Murray, Jada Pinkett Smith, Adam Sandler, and Ricki Lake.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Movie quotes, Orange Julius, and other brain droppings...

I had quite a quandry this evening. The AFI Top 100 Movie Quotes thing was on this evening as well as an episode of House that I hadn't seen yet. I ended up watching the AFI thing and taping House and Reno 911. The AFI thing was 3 hours long! No big surprises. Casablanca had lots of lines in the Top 100 (no big surprise), and also Gone with the Wind. I guessed right on a lot of the lines, and forgot about a few. I'd have to say that the list seems fairly accurate. Here's the list...

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," Gone with the Wind, 1939.
2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse," The Godfather, 1972.
3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is
what I am," On the Waterfront, 1954.
4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," "The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
5. "Here's looking at you, kid," Casablanca, 1942.
6. "Go ahead, make my day," Sudden Impact, 1983.
7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," Sunset Boulevard, 1950.
8. "May the Force be with you," Star Wars, 1977.
9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," All About Eve, 1950.
10. "You talking to me?" "Taxi Driver, 1976.
11. "What we've got here is failure to communicate," Cool Hand Luke, 1967.
12. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," Apocalypse Now, 1979.
13. "Love means never having to say you're sorry," Love Story, 1970.
14. "The stuff that dreams are made of," The Maltese Falcon, 1941.
15. "E.T. phone home," E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982.
16. "They call me Mister Tibbs!", In the Heat of the Night, 1967.
17. "Rosebud," Citizen Kane, 1941.
18. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!", White Heat, 1949.
19. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!", Network, 1976.
20. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," Casablanca, 1942.
21. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," The Silence of the Lambs, 1991.
22. "Bond. James Bond," Dr. No, 1962.
23. "There's no place like home," The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
24. "I am big! It's the pictures that got small," Sunset Boulevard, 1950.
25. "Show me the money!", Jerry Maguire, 1996.
26. "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?", She Done Him Wrong, 1933.
27. "I'm walking here! I'm walking here!", Midnight Cowboy, 1969.
28. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,' " Casablanca, 1942.
29. "You can't handle the truth!", A Few Good Men, 1992.
30. "I want to be alone," Grand Hotel, 1932.
31. "After all, tomorrow is another day!", Gone with the Wind, 1939.
32. "Round up the usual suspects," Casablanca, 1942.
33. "I'll have what she's having," When Harry Met Sally..., 1989.
34. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," To Have and Have Not, 1944.
35. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," Jaws, 1975.
36. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!", The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948.
37. "I'll be back," The Terminator, 1984.
38. "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth," The Pride of the Yankees, 1942.
39. "If you build it, he will come," Field of Dreams, 1989.
40. "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," Forrest Gump, 1994.
41. "We rob banks," Bonnie and Clyde, 1967.
42. "Plastics," The Graduate, 1967.
43. "We'll always have Paris," Casablanca, 1942.
44. "I see dead people," The Sixth Sense, 1999.
45. "Stella! Hey, Stella!", A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951.
46. "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars," Now, Voyager, 1942.
47. "Shane. Shane. Come back!", Shane, 1953.
48. "Well, nobody's perfect," Some Like It Hot, 1959.
49. "It's alive! It's alive!", Frankenstein, 1931.
50. "Houston, we have a problem," Apollo 13, 1995.
51. "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?", Dirty Harry, 1971.
52. "You had me at 'hello,' " Jerry Maguire, 1996.
53. "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know," Animal Crackers, 1930.
54. "There's no crying in baseball!", A League of Their Own, 1992.
55. "La-dee-da, la-dee-da," Annie Hall, 1977.
56. "A boy's best friend is his mother," Psycho, 1960.
57. "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good," Wall Street, 1987.
58. "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," The Godfather Part II, 1974.
59. "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again," Gone with the Wind, 1939.
60. "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!", Sons of the Desert, 1933.
61. "Say 'hello' to my little friend!", Scarface, 1983.
62. "What a dump," Beyond the Forest, 1949.
63. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?", The Graduate, 1967.
64. "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!", Dr. Strangelove, 1964.
65. "Elementary, my dear Watson," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1929.
66. "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape," Planet of the Apes, 1968.
67. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," Casablanca, 1942.
68. "Here's Johnny!", The Shining, 1980.
69. "They're here!", Poltergeist, 1982.
70. "Is it safe?", Marathon Man, 1976.
71. "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!", The Jazz Singer, 1927.
72. "No wire hangers, ever!", Mommie Dearest, 1981.
73. "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?", Little Caesar, 1930.
74. "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," Chinatown, 1974.
75. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951.
76. "Hasta la vista, baby," Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991.
77. "Soylent Green is people!", Soylent Green, 1973.
78. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL," 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968.
79. Striker: "Surely you can't be serious." Rumack: "I am serious...and don't call me Shirley," Airplane!, 1980.
80. "Yo, Adrian!", Rocky, 1976.
81. "Hello, gorgeous," Funny Girl, 1968.
82. "Toga! Toga!", National Lampoon's Animal House, 1978.
83. "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make," Dracula, 1931.
84. "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast," King Kong, 1933.
85. "My precious," The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002.
86. "Attica! Attica!", Dog Day Afternoon, 1975.
87. "Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!", 42nd Street, 1933.
88. "Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!", On Golden Pond, 1981.
89. "Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper," Knute Rockne, All American, 1940.
90. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," Goldfinger, 1964.
91. "Who's on first," The Naughty Nineties, 1945.
92. "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a miracle... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!", Caddyshack, 1980.
93. "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!", Auntie Mame, 1958.
94. "I feel the need--the need for speed!", Top Gun, 1986.
95. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," Dead Poets Society, 1989.
96. "Snap out of it!", Moonstruck, 1987.
97. "My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you," Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1942.
98. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," Dirty Dancing, 1987.
99. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!", The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
100. "I'm king of the world!", Titanic, 1997.

Only one line from Caddyshack and Animal House, and none from Say Anything or The Princess Bride...what a crime! No lines from Long Duck Dong ("No more yanky my wanky - the Donger need food!") in Sixteen Candles or Duckie in Pretty in Pink? No Mel Brooks?

I also watched House immediately afterward...great f'in show!!! This week's episode involved a sick nun. It took them a while to figure it out. Turns out that she was allergic to copper and had had a copper IUD inside her for 20 years and forgot about it.

Reno 911 is still probably the funniest show on TV. Hilarious!!!

I had a strange random thought...I haven't had an Orange Julius in almost 20 years. I haven't had one since I moved from the west coast. I could really go for one right now. They're almost as good as Coke slurpees.

I'm still waiting for my 512MB card for my new camera that I ordered from Dell. The site shows that I received it, but indeed I did not. I communicated with someone and they were giving me shit about receiving it, but hopefully it's been resolved as a request for replacement has been made. The person that I "chatted" with is obviously outsourced from India (making her English much better than mine), but I don't know how well they can truly grasp how things work in the US and how lazy Americans can be. Hopefully I'll get it soon. If I don't get in time for my vacation, I'll have to go out and buy one. I like the idea of being able to take lots and lots o' pics.

I was flipping through channels and I saw a trailer for a TV show using the Bangles' cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter". That's a great, great cover version. Still sounds as good now as it did in Less Than Zero. Great movie too! James Spader, Robert Downey Jr., Andrew McCarthy, and the incredibly hot 80's girl Jami Gertz?!?!? That's almost too much to handle. It's kind of scary how Robert Downey Jr.'s performance early on mirrored his own future so closely.

I'm so excited!!! I found a copy of Pelle the Conqueror on DVD for $7.99! It had been out of print and I've heard that there may be a Criterion Edition available, but I was thrilled to find this copy. Pelle the Conqueror is one of the finest films that I have ever seen. Max von Sydow gives a brilliant performance. He is truly one of the world's acting greats! This definitely goes beyond his work with Bergman. In finding his link I discovered that he just filmed a version of Heidi with himself as the grandfather. I can't think of a better person for the role, except for the fact that he's Swedish and not Swiss. I seem to love a lot of Nordic films. There's just a certain quirkiness, innocence, or darkness to them that make them intriquing. Some of my faves are Pelle the Conqueror, My Life as a Dog (great f'in movie!), Babette's Feast, and Antonia's Line.

...and on the subject of Swedes playing Swiss. Do you remember the old Swiss Miss commercials? The "Swiss" Miss spoke with a Swedish accent, not any of Switzerland's four national languages (German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Rumantsch). Swiss = Swiztzerland and Swedish = Sweden. Get it folks?

Work...still sucking donkey vomit. Sometimes I really, really hate my job. I love what I do and I think I'm pretty good at it, it's just that the people I work for have no respect for their employees. Also I have a quarterly project that is due this weekend (a wine club). It's a gigantic pain in the ass, especially as I really don't get much help. I'll probably have to go in early on Thursday and put in 12 or 13 hours or so to get things done. Work is a hemorrhoid on the ass of life and my bosses (owner and store manager) need a suppository or something less pleasant shoved up their asses.

Random poll- Which movie is more quotable? Caddyshack, History of the World Part I, or Monty Python and the Holy Grail?


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sometimes life just sucks whaleshit...

Today was not such a good day. Work sucked and it will continue to do so all week. Also, my good friend's mother died today. Life, as I've grown to discover, is not always so nice. Sometimes it's just a cold-hearted bitch. The Pistons lost last night, too. Although I'm certainly not an ubers-sports geek, and I'm admittedly a fan of the Portland Trailblazers, I'm still hoping that the Pistons will pull it off. I have nothing against San Antonio, but I like the new Pistons team. I was not a fan of the "Bad Boys" back in the early 90's. Hopefully I can get out of work early on Wednesday for visitation and the memorial service. I offer my friend friendship and wish him strength and plenty of good memories during this sorrowful time.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Who's my daddy?

Your Daddy Is Bill o'Reilly

What You Call Him: Daddy Dearest
Why You Love Him: He gives good spankings

If Bill O'Reilly were my daddy I'd "spank" him with a medieval mace about 100 times in the face and then piss on his remains.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Australia: Day Five

It's been a while...

Grange in barrel...lots and lots and lots and lots o' delicious liquid money Posted by Hello

...and the saga continues...
Saturday, October 11, 2003

I got a pretty good sleep as the weather was cool and I had the windows cracked open in my hotel room on the top floor of the Adelaide Hilton overlooking the city of Adelaide and the ocean. A good night's sleep was the perfect remedy to a long and busy day in the beautiful McLaren Vale. I again got an early started and took a shower in the world's greatest hotel bathroom (the shower was frickin' huge with regular and rain heads). Awesome! I meandered downstairs and moseyed out the front door, hung a left and made my way to the FABULOUS Adelaide Central Market. I made my way to a welcoming stall and ordered myself a meatpie and a double-short black. Fantastic! Nothing starts the day like hot beef and vegetables in gravy surrounded by pastry dough and chased down with the world's greatest coffee. I looked around a bit at the produce and admired lots of the fantastic local cheeses, sausages, and various charcuterie. I returned to the same bakery stall that I had discovered the day before and again ordered a fresh, still warm croissant as well as another sourdough loaf. Damn good shit if I may say so myself! I returned to the hotel and sat in the lobby waiting for my vinuous compatriots. I devoured my croissant and enjoyed my sourdough, offering pieces to my fellow travelers. We were to meet in the lobby at 9:00AM and board a bus to adventure. Our bus arrived and we were off...

Our first stop of the day was the famous Penfolds Magill Estate Winery.

Penfolds Magill Estate Posted by Hello
A young wine-maker was energetic as could be after a late night of World Cup Rugby watching the night before and showed us around the grounds. We saw where the infamous Penfolds Grange was produced and also saw tons of it in barrel storage as well as Magill Estate Shiraz.

Vertical of Grange Posted by Hello

Grange in barrel Posted by Hello
That's a very exciting site to a wine geek. Grange is considered one of the world's top wines. Our guide informed us that Maynard from Tool/A Perfect Circle had been at the winery the week before and bought a large-format bottle of Grange and had trouble getting it insured for the flight (Maynard apparently is an avid wine drinker and a huge fan of Grange and other Aussie offerings). Pretty cool. We ended our tour at the Cellar Door and tasted a lot of the Penfolds offerings (no Grange). Our guide/winemaker was a hell of nice guy and gracious host. He was leaving Penfolds shortly to go to a another winery (Brown Brothers, I think). There was an Australian wine industry 'zine display and I noticed Peter Garrett on the cover (singer from Midnight Oil, activist, politician, very cool guy). I grabbed a copy and we were off to our next stop...

We boarded the bus and made our way to Mt. Lofty. We made our way to the summit of Mt. Lofty (the highest point in the Mt. Lofty Ranges and in the Adelaide area) and treated ourselves to a beautiful view of the city of Adelaide below.

Adelaide from the summit of Mt. Lofty Posted by Hello

Adelaide from the top of Mt. Lofty Posted by Hello
It was really stunning! I looked around in the gift shop a while and picked up a few postcards and hopped back onto the bus. We began our descent and stopped at Bridgewater Mill for lunch.

The mill. Posted by Hello
We met our hostess and one of the winemakers from Petaluma/Bridgewater Mill. We had a brief tour of the operations including the mechanical riddling racks for their sparkling wine.

Riddling rack at Bridgewater Mill Posted by Hello
Our lunch was fantastic! Bridgewater Mill has been voted best winery restaurant in Australia. I enjoyed the...

Rabbit terrine with rabbit rillettes, smoked rabbit & liver parfait with preserved cumquats

Cwazy wabbit... Posted by Hello

Roasted rack of milk fed lamb with sweet red pepper crusted leg and lamb charlotte with Indian spices

Mmmmmmmmm... Posted by Hello

and assortment of petit fours (inluding a delicious gianduja, an intensely flavored jelly, and a chocolate one with orange rind)

Someone else's plate at Bridgewater mill Posted by Hello

DELICIOUS!!! Fan-flippin'-tastic!!! It paired very nicely with some of the fantastic wines from Petaluma.

After a wonderful lunch we made our way to the delightful Paracombe Winery in the Adelaide Hills. At Paracombe we actually met a few other wineries as well. As it would make for a very long day to visit all of the wineries on our itinerary they came to us rather than us going to them.

Wine tasting at Paracombe Posted by Hello
We also met with Marty (again) from Starvedog Lane Winery, Nepenthe Winery, Bird in Hand, and Chain of Ponds. The view at Paracombe was surreal. It was as if we were in a fairytale. It was so beautiful, lush, and green.

The view from Paracombe... Posted by Hello

The view from Paracombe Posted by Hello

The view from Paracombe Posted by Hello
I was looking for hobbits, but all I saw was sheep. This amazing view is not even as good as the one we had. The view we had behind the winery was not actually of vineyards, but of trees, sheep, valleys, hills, billabongs, and just pure beauty. Everyone was very gracious and the wines were great. The Adelaide Hills region produces some fantastic sauvignon blancs, chardonnays, rieslings, and shiraz. The Nepenthe Sauvignon Blanc, Tryst, and Fugue I thought were especially good. Everything was good but those especially stood out to me. Our bus driver took some group pictures of us overlooking the valley below.

Group shot at Paracombe Posted by Hello
What a fantastic day!. We enjoyed conversation, homemade pastries, and coffee. It was a very casual presentation and it was really just what we needed (not that anything we'd encountered thus far in Australia has been overly formal). I remember feeling very "comfortable" that day. I was content with life.

We eventually had to bid farewell to all of our gracious hosts and our bus headed back to Adelaide (city proper). On the way we back we all started singing "Waltzing Matilda" and it seemed really appropriate. Life is good. We made our way to the National Wine Centre in Adelaide.

National Wine Centre Posted by Hello

National Wine Centre Posted by Hello
We were running late and didn't have much time, but it was an enjoyable experience. First of all...the architecture of the building was absolutely amazing. Modern Australian architecture is some of the most daring and beautiful that I've ever encountered. It's very imaginative. The exterior is meant to resemble a wine barrel and the interior is very modern and clean in design. We walked around a bit and enjoyed some of the thematic wine exhibition rooms and played some wine games and then headed downstairs for quick a tasting. They had arranged some blind-tastings for us, but we were in a hurry and we had to "power taste". It would have been nice to spend a little more time there, but we had an interesting night ahead of us...

We returned to the hotel to get "all dressed up". Shortly before the trip was finalized we were invited to a gala black tie event, "The 2003 Jacob's Creek World Food Media Awards". While none of us actually donned penguin suits we did at least wear ties (the guys, obviously). By the time we arrived to the venue it was dark and we were running a few minutes behind. It took us a long time to find the right entrance (there were a lot of fancy events going on that night at the Adelaide Festival Centre). We entered and were greeted with splits of Jacob's Creek Brut (a nice start). We were seated and watched the presentation of the "Ladles". The "Media Awards" is a ceremony giving awards to the top food/wine media (print/television/radio) personalities in Australia and beyond. Awards were given for cook books, journalisms, wine books, etc. The entertainment was clever and unique. There was a gentleman that absolutely "wowed" us with shadow puppets. His performance was stunning and even touching. That guy has some very unique and special talents. Never did I think that a "shadow puppet" guy would blow me away. One of the most interestng aspects of the event was that Vincent Schiavelli (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ghost, etc.) was one of the presenters.

Vincent Schiavelli presenting... Posted by Hello

Once the last award was presented we were all welcomed to the gala party.

The gala before the mad rush... Posted by Hello

Wine was flowing and lots of top chefs were sampling their wares. Great satay, oysters, cheeses, pot-stickers, and numerous assorted passed hors' douvres. I actually got to meet Vincent Schiavelli...that was cool. There were Cirque de Soleil-style dancers in costume stopping in random poses through the night. I met an interesting food writer (to say the least) from The Age in Melbourne who was wearing an aluminum foil hat. Let me just mention now that we ran into Anna from the AWB at the event. I'll come back to it in the next Australia post. It was pretty fun, but we obviously didn't know any of the folk there and eventually left to return to the hotel. It was late and time to go to bed...the next day was going to be full of new adventures.

Sunset in Adelaide Posted by Hello

To be continued...


Huey "The Tornado of Raw Energy"

I think I want a soon as I wind down. Posted by Hello

This is Huey after a long day of playing outside with "Demon Dog" (Molly). They're best buds, but Molly is a bad influence. Huey was hanging out while his "mom" was flying (she's a super-awesome flight attendant). Huey likes to hang out. Don't we all?

Huey...Milkbone addict

Hey! Is that a biscuit in your hand? Posted by Hello

I've got to take pictures of something with my new digital camera. Huey is the perfect candidate.