Saturday, December 31, 2005


It's New Year's Eve and I'm home alone. No parties, no one to kiss at midnight, nothing...

I was actually invited to a party which could turn out to be a humdinger, but I forgot to get directions. I could be hanging out with some of the hot waitresses from the restaurant, but here I am posting. Doh! I figured that this is probably about lamest thing I could do right now other than actually sleeping through it. (Not that there's anything lame about posting.)

I can't even decide which shitty live New Year's Eve coverage to watch. Regis, Carson, or Dick Clark? Dick Clark is the obvious choice, but the poor guy had a stroke. That's not cool. Just another example of how shitty 2005 was. I wish him the best.

On a personal level 2005 was okay. I did go to Switzerland and have a fun "Up North" vacation, but overall it was a lackluster year. A few friends faced and are still facing some undeserved challenges. No major accomplishments or anything on my part and I'm still at the same miserable job.

On national and international levels 2005 was pure CRAP! Right off the wings of the killer tsunami of 2004, 2005 clumsily stumbled forward making an ass of itself. Dubya and the political scandals of his administration, f'ing Katrina, other major hurricanes, earthquakes in the Middle East/Asia, flooding in Europe...

hold on a second...the ball is dropping...
Happy New Year! May 2006 bring you everything that 2005 didn't. Wishing you health, happiness, prosperity, and wishes come true. Let's hope that there are some changes-a-comin' in DC and that the fate of the rest of the world is peace and resolution. Be safe and be nice to people. Hopefully everyone will be nice to you in '06. ;)
Okay...back to the depressiing stuff...

...political upheavals, civil wars, Terri Schiavo, the London Underground bombings, Kwame winning...again, and more general shittiness. 2005 sucked balls! Americans are losing more of their civil rights under the current far right evangelical Christian administration and the Supreme Court won't do anything about it if Dubya has his way. I could make a blanket statement that 2005 was an entirely embarrassing year for the US, but the same could said of the last 6 years...

2005 was certainly a great year for Triump the Insult Comic Dog to poop on!

2005 in a nutshell.

Enough of this disheartening stuff...let's just look forward to a better 2006, but it won't get any better if you don't do your part. Do whatever it takes to make this world a better place. Walk softly on this planet, but speak loudly.

I haven't really compiled any best of lists for 2005, but I'll throw a few things out there...

Best albums released in 2005 in no particular order-
Z by My Morning Jacket
B-Sides and Rarities by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Suspicious Activity? by The Bad Plus
Illinois by Sufjan Stevens
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (Live)
Aerial by Kate Bush Sigur Ros
Who's Your New Professor? by Sam Prekop
Tender Buttons by Broadcast

Best Songs of 2005-
"Gideon" by My Morning Jacket (I've only had this album for a little over a week and this song is my #1 of the year.)
"Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens

Best movies of 2005 (I didn't see too many and I barely remember what I saw...Don't bitch that I haven't said Capote, Good Night, and Good Luck, Brokeback Mountain, Crash, Munich, or Syriana because I haven't seen them yet. Star Wars, Episode III- Revenge of the Sith? Better than the last two, but doesn't even touch Eps. IV-VI.

The Aristocrats
The Chronicles of Narnia- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Broken Flowers
Walk the Line
The Wedding Crashers
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
The Woodsman

Best TV Shows of 2005-
Arrested Development
Law and Order: SVU
Family Guy
No Reservations
Stranded With Cash Peters
Any VH-1 version of I Love the 80's

Biggest Asshole of the Year (2005)-

Best Vegetable of 2005-
Fennel/Terri Schiavo (TIE)

Best Cookie of 2005-
Chocolate Chip

Grape Varietal of the Year (2005)-
Shiraz! What else?

Best Wines of 2005-
I had a lot of great wines in 2005, but these are a few standouts...
2004 De Lisio Khrystina McLaren Vale Shiraz
2003 Mr. Riggs McLaren Vale Shiraz
2003 Piping Shrike Barossa Valley Shiraz
2004 Winner's Tank Langhorne Creek Shiraz
2003 Glaetzer "Bishop" Barossa Valley Shiraz
1999 Pewsey Vale "The Contours" Eden Valley Riesling
2002 Noon Reserve Langhorne Creek Shiraz
2003 Henry's Drive Padthaway Shiraz
2004 Yalumba Y Series Viognier
2002 Brown Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 Peter Franus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2003 Consilience Santa Barbara Petite Sirah
2003 Tir Na N'og McLaren Vale Grenache Old Vines
2004 Borsao Tres Picos Campo di Borja Garnacha
2003 Casa Lapostolle Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Rotenberg Pinot Gris
2003 Rosenblum Harris Kratka Zinfandel
2002 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2003 Consilience Ashley's Vineyard Santa Barbara Pinot Noir
2004 Consilience Santa Barbara Viognier
2002 Jaffurs Melville Vineyard Syrah
2002 Adelaida Mountain Climber's White
Louis de Sacy Champagne NV

Best Bagel Flavor of 2005-

Best alcoholic beverage of 2005-

Best Meals of 2005-
(I didn't get out much in '05 and didn't have too many fancy meals. I do go to certain places more than others, but I won't mention those places here as they're not great, but good.)
Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor
Agave in Detroit
Any meals prepared by friends, especially G. and C.
Any meals prepared by my uncle Koni in Switzerland
The Roesti at the brew house in Zurich
Lamb Vindaloo at the Italian/Indian restaurant in Neuhausen
Fondue at Alfred's

Best cheese of 2005-
Ewephoria Sheep's Milk Gouda

Best Bread of 2005-
Avalon Bakery/Zingerman's (TIE)

Best Books of 2005-
(I didn't actually read too many books that were actually published in '05.)

Best Books Read in 2005-
Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell
Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain
Any cookbooks

Best toothcleaner of 2005-
Toothpaste and toothbrush

Worst Trends of 2005-
Music Downloading
General idiocy of "Red Staters"
Non-separation of church and state
Banning of peanut butter from schools
Corporate down-sizing
"Big 3" Lay-Offs/Firings
Americans believing what comes out of Dubya's mouth
Big Box stores
Burger King Commercials with that freaky looking "Burger King"
Road construction everyfrickin'where in the Detroit area

Best Trends of 2005-
Flying Spaghetti Monsterism
Bitching about the government
Increase in home-cooking
Good wine in boxes
Screwcaps on quality wine bottles
Resurgence of quality restaurants/clubs in Detroit

Best color of 2005-

Most anxiously awaited Detroit event/curiousity of 2006-
The Superbowl

Best thing in a bowl (2005)-

Best meat of 2005-
Beef short ribs/lamb shanks (TIE)

Best reason to get up in the morning (2005)-
Can't think of one.

Here's a link to the celebrities that died in 2005.
We'll miss you Johnny Carson and Richard were both the greatest!

I'm going to a party tomorrow at Julie and Glen's tomorrow for our group's Secret Santa Exchange. I'm bringing brownies. I pulled them out of the oven a while ago. I'll make a ganache for them tomorrow. The recipe is here. They're wicked good! There's a trend amongst sinful chocolate desserts to call them things like Chocolate Suicide, Death by Chocolate, etc. I like to follow the trend and call them Chocolate Skullf*** Brownies. They're pretty damn good, but I only use the best ingredients (organic eggs, Valrhona/El Ray/Scharffenberger/Green & Black chocolate, organic unbleached flour, natural vanilla, etc.). I look forward to hanging out with my friends tomorrow and to a better 2006. Wishing you the best!


I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but...

I've never considered myself a conspiracy theorist (at least not full-blown anyway), but I think I may be joining the ranks.

If you have an hour to spare you should watch this documentary called Loose Change (Google Video/Beta). It analytically shows you how 9/11 was more likely perpetrated by our own government than by terrorists. I looked at it open-minded and the general facts presented are blaring. It certainly makes it look like our government was behind the killing of over 3000 people. Normally I wouldn't put much stock in something like this but I wouldn't put it past this administration at all...

Dubya and his gang scare me more than ever.

Please watch and please share. Now if you'll excuse me I've got to go hide from the government goons that are surely about to come and get me and then illegally torture me...
Apparently the walls have ears. Luckily I don't talk much at home as I just live with a roommate and I don't use the phone too often. They'll just hear a lot of farting, belching, and whatnot. I'm sure my computer will develop some sort of supervirus shortly...

The hour goes by pretty quickly as it's pretty engrossing. Please be forewarned that there is repeated footage of the Twin Towers collapsing. It may not be something that you can take very well.

Impeach Dubya in 'O6 don't stop there...maybe torture isn't so bad after all!

Also, another good read from Jack Lessenberry here from this week's Metro Times...about about our local Congressman John Conyers and impeaching Dubya.


Friday, December 30, 2005

Just like the old days, but older...

It's late and I'm tired, but I did something tonight I haven't done in a looooonnng-ass time. I closed a bar. And not just any bar mind you, but my old hangout. It was my good friend Davo's birthday. Davo DJ's at a club in Royal Oak called Luna on Thursday nights. I haven't been there since its last incarnation...The Groove Room. I used to be a regular there on Wednesdays when it used to be called 3D. It's probably been about 8 or 9 years since I've stepped in the building. The last time I was there was for a 3D reunion party (I think). It's changed a bit. It's less dank and dirty and the crowd is much younger...or I'm just older. Thursday nights are "80's Night" at Luna. The music was good, but completely adventurous as the crowd was all born in the 80's and wouldn't recognize any of the obscure tracks. The club now even has "80's dancers". They were all born in the 80's (barely). A couple of them look as if they're used to spinning around a pole (based on their moves). All in all a good time was had. I even won a drink (a Long Island) for knowing the name of Cyndi Lauper's first band (Blue Angel). Does that make me gay? Does owning their album on vinyl make me even gayer? Don't answer that. It was nice to see some friends and especially to see Davo spinning again. He still rules the DJ booth! It's not the same as the old never is...but it was certainly nice to reminisce. I miss the old days of 3D. I miss the old school folk...
Michael, Tammy, Kimmi, Tom, John, John, Dan, Toothless Jim, Bubba, Skunk Jeff, Skinny Puppy guy, Phil, Amir, Cheryl...

Those were some great times. I'll elaborate on those some other time (remind me). I think that I've mentioned it before. I used to spend a lot of time and money there. I probably paid for Tammy and Kimmi's car payments with my tips. Those were the days...the days of finding money in all of your pockets the next day. It was always initially disappointing to see how much money was left in my wallet, but then I'd find some money in my jacket or pants...BONUS!

I may actually even find my way back on a Thursday night even though I probably won't hear any Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Black, Specimen, S-Express, Renegade Soundwave, Alien Sex Fiend, etc. I had a good time. I miss the old days, but I know that those days are over. The chances of me returning to my old club lifestyle are just about as good as Benny and the Jets making it big beyond Dearborn Heights/Garden City/Inkster/Westland and them moving out of their parents' houses to become international superstars that don't have to advertise their shows on the sides of vans or pieces of particle board nailed to electric poles, but who knows???


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Meet Minnie the Mooch...

Here are some pics of the new puppy that my landlords recently rescued. She's an Alaskan Malamute named Minnie. She figured out the stairs...

And here's a couple of the ever-lovable Huey...

Character actor Vincent Schiavelli died of lung cancer on Monday. Here's the full story. I actually got to meet him in Adelaide, Australia in October of 2003. He was an award presenter at a black tie food and beverage journalism awards ceremony. Here's a picture that was taken at that event...

Beyond being a recognizable and talented character actor, he was also really into food and cooking. He'll be missed.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Another pagan holiday bites the dust (until next year)...

Thank goodness! Another Christmas down the drain. Now if I just make it past New Year's I'll be all set. It was was busy in the store this year. I don't know if the numbers were up or down from last year, but I was sure running around. Thankfully it's over.

My Christmas was okay. I hope that yours was decent. I noticed something when I got home that sort of pissed me off (not really). I noticed that my odometer was at 88889.1 miles. I missed it turning 88888.8. I had been sort of looking forward to watching it turn for some time now ( I don't have much of a life). I obviously forgot about it as I had a 300 mile trip this weekend (150 each way). and I only missed it by .3 miles. Somehow I don't think my Hyundai will make it to 888888.8 miles, but I should have 99999.9 miles to look forward to. (I either need a girlfriend, a hobby, or a third job. I'll settle for a girlfriend or a hobby...maybe making model airplanes so that I can huff model glue.)

I haven't really come up with any New Year's resolutions yet, but I do hope that...

Dubya will develop an allergy to peanuts and that I will have an opportunity to make a PBJ in his presence.

I get a new job.

My friends don't lose any of their jobs.

Gay marriage is legalized everywhere!

I lose some weight.

That it becomes legal to hunt rednecks.

My balls descend and I gather up the courage to ask someone out.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have an alien baby.

The grip that uberevangelists have on this country loosens.

The "red states" get "Hooked on Phonics".

NASCAR goes the way of the dodo.

Dick Cheney has another (but lethal) heart attack.

Condoleeza Rice will answer questions directly and truthfully.

The stem-cell procedure that saved Don Ho's life will help prompt a change in Washington's thinking.

A meteor hits a certain ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Dubya eats more pretzels.

We get the fuck out of Iraq!

Hendrix beats Kilpatrick in the recount.

Local TV reporters get foot in mouth disease.

Peace abounds!

The Big 3 rebound.

Church stays separate from state.

You have a great frickin' year!

Let's hope that 2006 is better than 2005! It couldn't be much worse...


Friday, December 23, 2005

Stolen "7 Deadly Sins" quiz...

I stole this quiz from Julie.

Greed:Very Low
Envy:Very Low
Lust:Very Low

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Happy Festivus!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Another food/beverage factoid...

Did you know that Amaretto is not made from almonds? It's actually made from apricot pits. A bottle of Amaretto must say "de Noissettes" for it to be made from real almonds.


When re-gifting doesn't suck...

My roommate and I exchanged our Christmas gifts today. My roommate and I work at the same store and one of his reps gave him a Christmas gift. (Liquor reps are much more generous than wine reps.) She gave him a new (black) iPod Nano. He didn't want it. He said that he had no use for it. He gave it to me. How flippin' cool is that?!? I'm really late on the whole technology bandwagon. I had never intended to get one for myself, but this thing's pretty damn cool (and small)! It holds 2GB (500 songs + pictures). I have absolutely no intention of downloading songs from the internet. Never have, never will, but now I can put a buttload of songs that I have on CD on this genius little thing. It may be the greatest gift ever!!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wrap that s**t up!

I've got to run to work in a few minutes, but I'm dreading my return home as I've got to wrap all of my Christmas presents. Luckily I've gotten my shopping done at least. Although I should still go out and buy some knee pads and breath mints for a certain coworker. She probably wouldn't get it which would make it doubly funny...

Ta ta for now!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere

It sucks!
Retail Christmas sucks!
No days off!
It really, really sucks!
Merry Clusterfuck everybody! Time to be festive AND gay!

In other news...
My landlords rescued a nine-week old Alaskan Malamute last week from the Dearborn Animal Shelter. They decided to name her Minnie (as in "Minnie the Mooch" as she's apparently a mooch). She's really cute and very friendly. I'll try to take a picture and post it soon. She hasn't visited our floor yet as she's still not up to trying stairs. She's quite big, but she'll get much bigger as Malamutes can be over 100 lbs. Huey and Hobo seem to be getting along with her so far. It's going to be fun watching her grow! It's not going to fun when she sheds (or clumps)...

And the winner of the Holiday Haiku Contest is BST.

Here's his winning entry...

Kris Kringle is smooth
He shimmies down the chimney
Just to bang your mom

BST is officially the Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere (as determined by me). He won because it was the only one that met the criteria of the three entries received. Kudos to BST!

Here are the two other entries that did not win (because they did not follow the holiday theme)...

(submitted by Glen)


Taco Bell Grande
Oh the pain is so intense
Woops I shit my pants
(submitted by BST)

Thanks for playing kids!

Random poll #1- Are you done with your Christmas shopping?
Random poll #2- What's your favorite Christmas movie?
Random poll #3- Have you been naughty or nice?


Stupid retail question of the day...

"Do you sell any wines that you can only get in Chicago?"


" about wines made in Chicago?"


Christmas Quiz Crappola

Your Elf Name Is...

Floppy Sweet Cheeks

You Are a Minimal Christmas Tree

You're not a total Scrooge, but you feel no need to go overboard at Christmas.
Less is more, and your Christmas reflects refined quality.

You Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled with Money

You've either been really really good this year...
Or Santa is trying to pay you off!

You Were Nice This Year!

You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list.
You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thoughts this year.
Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good.
Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?

I was only good because my life is so boring...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

F.U. WDET!!!

My former favorite radio station, WDET 101.9, has changed their format again. It's gone to all talk during the day and music only at night and on weekends. While I'm happy that This American Life, Car Talk, The Arkansas Traveler, and Folks Like Us are back, I'm pissed that Martin Bandyke and Willie Wilson are gone. Judy Adams is gone too, but I'm not too heartbroken about that (she's played the same boring show for the last 30 or so years). I was wondering why Ed Love's show was extended two hours... I received my information second or third hand from a reliable source who works for a record company. She told me that Martin Bandyke quit before he could be let go. Apparently he was accused of a few things and I don't believe any of them. There's a new sherrif in town (general manager) and I don't think I like him. Apparently the format change came about because the members wanted more talk. The members that give at donation time. I've given to WDET for probably about 10 years or so. I didn't give during the last two pledge drives because I was unhappy with the last line-up change. WDET is losing an absolute treasure in Martin Bandyke. His show was just about the best thing going anywhere. Where else could you here such awesome music during the day??? His knowledge of music and film is varied and deep. I got turned on to WDET and the Velvet Underground when I was in high school because of him. I was flipping stations in the car one day and he was playing "Heroin" by the VU. I was like..."WTF?!?!? This is awesome! How come I've never heard this before?" I'm sure Martin will find a good job somewhere, but I'm just pissed with the whole scenario. I'm taking the bumper sticker off of my car and removing the WDET link on my blog...

Screw you're not getting any more money from me!


Saturday, December 17, 2005

"Crappy Christmas Gift" quiz...

You Are a Losing Lottery Ticket!

Full of hope and promise.
But in the end, a cheap letdown.

Friday, December 16, 2005

My Christmas Carol...

Your Christmas Song Is

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

And so this is xmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

You would gladly give up all of your material Christmas gifts...
If it meant peace for a few more people

10 fun food and beverage factoids...

I don't know what to write about, so here's a list of things you may or may not know about...

1. You probably know that peanuts are not nuts at all (they're in the legume family), but did you know that pecans and walnuts aren't nuts either? They're actually both in the hickory family, but they're also both in a fruit family called "drupes". Other drupes include mangoes, cherries, olives, and raspberries.

2.Tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. They are members of the nightshade family along with potatoes and eggplant.

3. You'll get drunk quicker off of 4 vodka & tonics than 4 shots of vodka. The carbonation speeds up the process in your bloodstream.

4. Most wasabi has no actual wasabi in it. Authentic wasabi is very expensive and loses its oomph after 15 minutes of being cut. Most wasabi is horseradish with coloring.

5. Ginger, wasabi, horseradish, galangal, etc. are not roots but rhizomes.

6. There are actually 5 tastes on the tongue rather than 4. Sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and... umami. (Found especially in mushrooms, soy sauce, fish sauce, parmeggiano reggiano, walnuts, miso, things with MSG). It is hard to define, but it has a "savory" character.

7. About 95 percent of the balsamic vinegars you find in supermarkets are not legally balsamic vinegar at all. The real stuff sells for $100 a bottle and up.

8. Legally, Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France to be called Champagne. Anything else is just sparkling wine. The same goes for Cognac. Cognac is brandy from the Cognac region and nowhere else.

9.Red wine and grapeseed oil are high in polyphenols which are antioxidants that are great for your heart. Grapeseed oil is a great oil for sauteeing as it has a neutral flavor and a high smoke-point.

10. Extra virgin olive oil should not usually be used for sauteeing as it has a low smoke-point (it burns at higher temperatures).

Tonight's gonna suck at the restaurant...reservations up the ass!
I've gotta take some packages to the post office ASAP!
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Martini Personality Test

You Are a Classic Martini

You area sophisticated drinker, who knows that simple quality is over-rated.
You're a knowledgeable drunk, but sometimes you're a know-it-all when you're blasted.

You should never: Drink and gossip. You tend to forget who's standing right behind you!

Your ideal party: Has a real bartender. But no one mixes a better drink than you.

Your drinking soulmates: those with a Chocolate Martini personality

Your drinking rivals: those with a Margarita Martini personality

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Movie Quiz

Your Christmas is Most Like: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You can't really get into the Christmas spirit...
But it usually gets to you by the end of the holiday.

Santa's Reindeer Quiz

You Are Blitzen

Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.

You're a poet and you don't know it...

Retail has turned my brain to mush. I have no idea what to post about. Maybe I should devise a contest or something...

How about the "2005 Holiday Haiku Contest"?
Submit a holiday related haiku (in 5-7-5 form) and I'll name a winner based on absolutely nothing. The winner will named "Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere" and maybe I'll buy you a drink or something the next time I see you (if you're somebody that I know).

Here's an example...

Wild retail shitfest
Holidays suck shiny balls
Go sit on a tree

Sorry for the lame-ass post. I'm tired. I'm going to bed early...

Click on this link if you're not easily offended. (Turn the volume down or off it you're at work.) Offensive or pretty damn funny? You decide...


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"It's Christmas and it's retail, please shoot me now" (Imagine it being sung by Morrissey)

Oy! Tis the f'in season!

Work has been sucking loads of frog vomit as of late. The holidays are upon us and we're understaffed. I've been running my ass off and I can't seem to accomplish anything...and I still have my ass. My brain hurts.

Imagine this about 80 times a day...

"I'd like to buy a bottle of wine."
" this for yourself or is this a gift?"
"It's a gift. I don't drink wine."
"Okay. Sure. Do have any ideas in mind? Do you know if they like reds, whites, roses, dessert wines, or Champagnes?"
"No. I don't know."
"Do you know if they're wine drinkers? Casual...or maybe serious?"
"I don't know."
" you happen to know if they eat lots of certain types of pasta, fish, chicken, red meat, etc?"
"I have no idea."
"Do you have a general price-point in mind?"
"No. How much do wines run?"
"Well...they run anywhere from about $3.00 a bottle to a $1000.00 a bottle, but you can get a really good bottle of wine for about $15.00."
"I'd like to spend about $10.00 or less."
"Sure. Let's try to figure out what kind of wine they like. Have you ever been with them in a restaurant when they ordered wine? Was it white or red?"
"I don't remember...but they ordered wine."
"Okay. Do you have any idea if they like their wines dry, fruity, or even sweet? Most wines are fairly dry."
"What does dry mean?"
"Well...that essentially means that it's not sweet. Chardonnay and merlot are fairly popular with non-serious wine drinkers. Pinot noir and pinot grigio/pinot gris are pretty hot right now. Cabernet is pretty popular among more serious wine drinkers. Shiraz is pretty popular right now too."
"I think they said something about a chardonnay sauvignon once. I'll get one of those."
"Sure...but chardonnay is a dry white wine and cabernet sauvignon is a dry red. There's another crisp white called a sauvignon blanc. There isn't a chardonnay sauvignon."
"No...I'm pretty sure they said it was a chardonnay sauvignon. Don't you have any of those?"
" doesn't exist."
"Do you know any place around here that might sell it?"
"No...I'm sorry...I don't, because there is no such thing. If you're not absolutely sure what they drink it might be safer to give them a white wine. Red wine drinkers are more likely to drink a white wine than a white wine drinker is to drink a red. Chardonnay is a pretty safe bet. I'm sure it would be appreciated."
"Alright...there are several options...some are a little oakier, some a little more tropical, some slightly buttery, and some are more crisp. This is a very nice one right here. It's excellent and sort of a compromised balance of all the styles. It's rich and smooth with notes of pear, citrus, and subtle hazelnut. It's very good. And it's only $7.99 a bottle."
"I don't like the label. What about this one?" (Points to a horrible bottle with colorful label)
"That one's okay, but this is noticeably better...and it's a dollar less."
"I don't know...the label isn't as pretty..."
"It's not as common and the label isn't as vibrant, but the quality is really much better in this one. I'm sure that the recipient would be very appreciative. You can get that other one in almost any supermarket. This bottle is a little more unique."
"Is it sweet?"
"'s not. It's fairly dry, but it does have distinctive fruit characteristic."
"What kind of fruit is it made from?"
"Just chardonnay grapes...nothing else."
"How can a wine taste like pear and citrus without pears and citrus in it?"
"Different wine grapes typically posses certain characteristics found in other fruits."
" can it be fruity and not be sweet?"
"A sweet wine has noticeable sugars, this wine is not sweet, but it still has subtle fruit flavors."
"Is this all the chardonnay you have?"
"No...we have everything arranged by country. We also have some chardonnay from Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Italy..."
"Australia! Let's look at the Australian wines! They went on vacation there once."
"Sure! Follow me please..."
(Follows me but stops short at the German wines)
"We have some great German rieslings too. They're usually a little fruitier, but can be made anywhere from bone-dry to syrupy sweet."
"I'll take this one."
"Sure. Have a great day!"
(Customer walks away with a $3.99 bottle of Piesporter Michelsberg QbA)
Next customer...
"I'd like to buy a bottle of wine."

That's why I love regular customers who will say...
"Pick me out a bottle of red for about $60.00 as a gift for someone."
"Any particular varietal?"
"No...whatever you think is good. I trust you."
"Try this one. It's great!"
"Thanks a alot! I really appreciate it. Have a great holiday if I don't see you."
"My pleasure. You too! Have a great holiday!"

I went to see The Ice Harvest yesterday with friends. That's the new one with John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Platt, and Randy Quaid. It was pretty good, but a very, very dark comedy.

The restaurant was insanely busy on Friday. It's as if we were struck by Thor's might shit hammer.

I finished about 2/3 of my Christmas cards last night. I've got another 20 to go or so. I'll see what I can crank out after this post. I didn't get any free return address labels in the mail from anybody this year, so I've got to write it all out. It's not that's about as annoying as the crust that forms on a bottle of mustard.

This joke is really sick and wrong, but I laughed my ass off. I was watching the Comedy Central end of 2005 special thingy and Sarah Silverman was on toward the end. She said something like...
"2005 was a really horrible year with Katrina and everything. It's like a lot of people got fucked...and THEN somebody shit in their mouths. I call 2005 "Dad"".
Sarah Silverman...I love her.

Random Poll- What's your favorite Christmas/holiday cookie?
(I love snickerdoodles...and I love to say "snickerdoodles".)


In my past life I was a...

You Were a Whale

You see the unseen and connect on the deepest level.
You help others find their soul's song.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The man, the myth, the flaming legend...

Richard Pryor, F'ing Comedic Genius, died yesterday at the age of 65 of a heart attack. He had also been suffering with multiple sclerosis. Perhaps the burden of being one of the funniest people on the planet was too much for him.

When I was a kid I saw lots of the edited versions of his films and absolutely loved them. Stir Crazy, Which Way is Up?, The Toy, Brewster's Millions, Blue Collar, Silver Streak, and more. It wasn't until later that I heard the full-on filthy comic magic spewing out of is dirty mouth. Genius! Pure genius! I never had cable as a kid so I was a little late catching stuff like Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin', or even Eddie Murphy Raw. He blazed a trail (pun intended?) for countless comedians and actors...

I was always hoping for a reunion movie with Gene Wilder, but I guess it's too late.

This honky is going to miss him...

Friday, December 09, 2005

It's good!

I think that C.S. Lewis would be proud. I just go back from seeing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I'd say that it was pretty damn great! The girl that played Lucy did a bang-up job! She's a rising star to keep our eyes on...kind of like the British version of Dakota Fanning. Good stuff! I look forward to the next 6...

If you read the Chronicles of Narnia series when you were younger I'd highly recommend it. I'd recommend it to those who haven't read it either. It stands on its own, but it was interesting as a fan to see how the land of Narnia would be presented on the big screen. It's fascinating that the Narnia of my imagination was strikingly close to that of the film. I don't care if there is a big Christian push to see the's a great story.


The ultimate displeasure of Turkish Delight...

I think I'm going to go see the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at a matinee by myself today. It might be my only chance for a while as the holidays are coming down upon me like Agent Orange on foliage. This Sunday will be my last day off until Christmas. Ouch! Tis' the season. I think that I'm going to see The Ice Harvest on Sunday (hopefully). I really want to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as the Chronicles of Narnia were some of my favorite childhood reading. Regardless of the Christian themes, the books are still very well written and offer a broad appeal to anyone with an active imagination. I've been hoping for a major movie production of the series for over twenty years now. The preliminary reviews are promising. I guess I'll just have to see for myself. The only problem with the books is that they make it seem that Turkish Delight is the world's greatest isn't. It's an acquired taste. They're essentially jellies with rosewater in them. I'm not a big fan. Too much rosewater can ruin anything...even rice pudding.

In other news...
Don Ho is feeling better. Story here.

Well, I've gotta go if I'm gonna shoot for the 1:10.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blasphemous commercials are funny in a sad, sad world...

Hey kids! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I haven't been able to get online at home for a while. It's all fixed so here I am. I had to play a little catch-up reading e-mails, blogs, and visiting dirty websites. Now that I'm able to post again I don't have much to say...

FYI- I do not want the new Chia Garfield for Christmas as good as the idea may seem...

Have you seen the new Virgin Mobile Chrismahanukwanzakah commercial? Holy shit! I was watching TV last night when all of a sudden I saw something that that shocked the hell out me. I have to admit that I laughed, but I just can't believe that censors let that on the air. It ripped on several religious and gay stereotypes and was downright blasphemous to anybody. That means it's funny. I wonder if someone ran that version at the last second as a joke and the censors just missed it. I thought it was a "fake" commercial like an SNL commercial, but I realized I was watching Law and Order: SVU . It'll probably never run again, but it will be ingrained in my memory like the once-run Orwellian McIntosh commercial. This "actual" commercial goes beyond the boundaries of even the SNL writer mind. Genius and retarded at the same time. Did you see it?

I'm finally feeling a lot better, but I'm still having trouble sleeping. It's still uncomfortable to sleep on my sides, and I can't sleep on my damn back. Damn it!

Another great opinion column from Jack Lessenberry here about the Iraq war. It saves me a lot of writing when someone else feels the same way and writes about it so eloquently. His column is always worth a look...

Condoleeza Rice, the first black Nazi, has not come clean on the secret European CIA torture flights. Shame, shame, shame...

Speaking of Nazis...
Have you seen this Neo-Nazi teenage twin band on the news lately? Scary, scary shit! It's obvious that they have no idea what goes on in the real world as they've been brainwashed by their parents and grandparents. They're the unfortunate pride and future of the Aryan movement. Hatemongers at the age of 13...sad, very sad. The fate of this country is worrisome. I'm scared to see where it's going. As long as folk like Cheney and Dubya are in charge we're fucked. It's really scary that people like David Duke and Pat Robertson could actually have a chance at the presidency if they tried right now...

Good news for a change...
The Michigan House voted 104-0 to allow wine-shipping from out of state wineries. Read more here. Now we just need Governor Granholm to sign the bill. It's been a very long and hard road...

I'm looking forward to seeing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I also hope to see The Ice Harvest, and Jesus is Magic.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"What Hit Song of 2000 Am I?"

Your 2005 Song Is

Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz

"Love forever love is free.
Let's turn forever you and me."

In 2005, you were loving life and feeling no pain.

Mmmm...not so much.

Friday, December 02, 2005

What flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice cream am I?

You Are Karamel Sutra

Plain on the outside, but once someone gets in, they're stuck

I'd eat myself if that were true. That's even worse than regular ol' cannibalism isn't it?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another lost celebrity, other stuff, and a survey...

It seems that everybody is dying these days. A sad farewell to Wendie Jo Sperber. You probably remember her best from Bosom Buddies. She succumbed to breast cancer after an 8 year struggle.

Have you tried Google Earth? It's pretty damn cool, if not kind of scary. I tried looking at places like Area 51, Guantanamo Bay, and some spots in the Middle East and it's obvious that they've been blocked out. Some areas are a little more detailed than others. The satellite photos are a little old. Our garden isn't done yet and there's a red car in the backyard (whose?). Freakin' cool/creepy nonetheless. Try your own address and see what happens...

Another great article from Jack Lessenberry in this weeks Metro Times about how the U.S. has knowingly illegally screwed Canada out of $4 billion. Apparently we don't care to follow the NAFTA rules...

Rick Springfield is going to return to General Hospital to reprise his role as Dr. Drake (to introduce his son as a new character).

Here's a survey that I stole from Julie.

TEN random things you might not know about me.
1. I once saw Ray Charles at O'Hare Airport (but he didn't see me...ouch!).
2. I sang in choirs for several years (baritone).
3. I took the Pepsi Challenge at the Polk County Fair in Rickreall, Oregon and Pepsi won. Coke would so kick its ass now!
4. I lost a school sponsored Spelling Bee as a freshman in high school by one word to a senior (who ended up ranking statewide).
5. My homeade chili is so hot that it makes me cry.
6. I had a major acne problem from middle school through high school.
7. I've lived in 12 different homes (if I remember correctly).
8. I love to do crossword puzzles, but I don't do them very often.
9. I have two Campfire Girl badges (don't ask).
10.I used to ride in metric-centuries back in the day. (62 mile bike rides)

NINE places I've visited (I've actually traveled quite a bit within the US excluding the South and the East Coast, I'll just pick a few)
1. Switzerland (6 or 7 times)
2. Australia
3. Intercourse, Pennsylvania
4. Cheyenne, Wyoming
5. Canada
6. Folsom Lake (across from the Prison)
7. The California Redwoods
8. Chicago
9. Manhattan

EIGHT ways to win my heart
1. Humor
2. Intelligence
3. Good use of sarcasm against the dumb.
4. To be able to laugh at and appreciate Monty Python or Caddyshack, and to be a music geek
5. Smile
6. Generosity/kindness (to others)
7. Make me dinner (I'll be happy to reciprocate), write me a note/poem, give me flowers, hug me, hold hands with me, anything will do...
8. Be genuine

SEVEN things I want to do before I die
1. See Uluru (Ayers Rock)
2. Retire
3. To be in love with someone who feels the same way about me.
4. Sing in Detroit's Hallelujah Chorus
5. To find a job where I'm happy
6. To travel the world...everywhere!
7. To see another Coonawarra sunset

SIX things I'm afraid of
1. Dubya
2. Rumsfeld
3. Cheney
4. Spiders
5. Being alone forever
6. The direction that this country is headed as well as the environmental future of the planet

FIVE things I don't like
1. Dubya
2. Shitty supermarket tomatoes
3. Redneck/white trash/NASCAR/Red State mentality
4. Really hot and humid days
5. Road construction

FOUR ways to turn me off
1. Too much makeup, overtreated hair, superlong fingernails, and fake tans
2. Being disrespectful to others
3. To be overly smothering
4. Say something racist

THREE Things I do everyday
1. Take a shower
2. Watch TV
3. Eat (duh!)

TWO things that make me happy
1. Friends
2. Days off/vacations

ONE thing on my mind right now
1. I don't want to work tomorrow.