Tag Archives: wine

Cha-ching, Cha-ching, Cha-ching

I sit here, in my writer’s room, happily tap, tap, tapping away, the icicles of last week having long since melted, when I suddenly remember  the month of February is upon us. In a panic, I ask myself, Do you have your reservations made? . . . What do I mean? What reservations am I talking about? None other than my Valentine’s Day dinner reservations.

Of course, this does not include a box of the finest chocolates and a dozen roses. I reach for my calculator. Dinner for two at a fancy restaurant. You know the kind, where they put you through the dog and pony show of tasting your wine before you purchase it–Like you’re going to send it back. If you are anything like me, you wouldn’t know the difference between a $6 bottle of Sutter Home Merlot or a $100 bottle of whatever.

Just a side note: one wine I do happen to like is Stags Leap. It’s $100 at a restaurant and a little over $30 at your local wine shop. Let’s get back to the cost of Valentine’s Day.

Dinner, $200, roses @ twice the price as normal, $75/doz., fine chocolates, $50+.

This is getting to be more like Christmas. Fortunately, my wife and I would rather opt out of Valentine’s Day, say, “I love you,” everyday and end with a kiss.

That’s my kind of Valentine’s celebration!

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If you Have to Land on Cheese, Pick a Nice Hard Parmesan or Romano; a Ripe Brie or Crumbled Feta…Not So Good

Your name is Vladimir Bloodsucker. You reside in the Western section of Romania in a quaint little villa known as Transylvania.  vampireAside from your regular occupation as the town mortician and kindergarten teacher, you write humorous romance novels as a sideline. You have this great idea for a novel, but you are suffering from a form of writer’s block. It’s not that you can’t find the words; it’s placing them so you remain true to your genre as well as the book’s subject matter.

Let’s just face facts. If you weren’t so hung up writing in one genre with the ridiculous… No, ludicrous ideas you manufacture for your books, we wouldn’t have all these problems. I’m the only literary agent in this podunk town and I have two clients; you and what’s his name. And ole what’s his name can’t seem to write about anything but vampires. Every month, I get another vampire manuscript. I’ve had it up to here (holding hand above head) with vampires. I send him a dozen rejections at a time and tell him to make sure these last for the upcoming year.

Starting next year the rejections go out wrapped around wooden stakes.

Now, where was I….Oh yeah, Vlad and his next best-selling flop. Vladimir’s idea for his next novel (and don’t forget he writes in the humorous romance genre) is the astronauts perspective of landing on a moon made of cheese.

Here is the actual first chapter I received from Vladimir last week.

“Cheese Wheel to Mission Control. Cheese Wheel to Mission Control. Come in, Mission Control, over,”  Artichoke said. (Beep)

“This is Mission Control, Cheese Wheel. Good morning, Artichoke.” (Beep)

“Good morning, Mission Control,” Artichoke replied, “are we a go for landing?” (Beep)

“That’s an affirmative. We have determined the surface to be similar to that of a mid-range limburger.” (Beep)

“Roger that, Mission Control, initiating thirty second burn to begin decent.” (Beep)

“You’re looking good, Cheese Wheel, ten seconds to touchdown.” (Beep)

“On my mark,” Artichoke said. “5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 and down.” (Beep)

“Good job, Cheese Wheel, ready to exit LEM.” (Beep)

“Thanks, Mission Control; it’s a bit wobbly down here and smells like armpit.” (Beep)

“You knew going in, that limburger is aged with the same bacteria that causes human body odor,” Mission Control said. “So suck it up, suit up and get outside.” (Beep)

“Roger, Mission Control, I snuck my wife aboard so as soon as I finish romancing and telling jokes I’ll get right to it, Cheese Wheel out.” (Beep)

I couldn’t read anymore, my lunch was working its way upward and I found myself reaching for my bottle of Xanax.

Now you see what I have to deal with being the only literary agent with two clients, one with a vampire fetish and the other just an idiot. And the real shame of it being no other prospects. Most agents are inundated with manuscripts…Me, well, you know my story.

Actually, I’m suddenly finding that things are looking up as long as I mix my Xanax with a half bottle of wine. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start writing and represent myself. It couldn’t possibly get any worse…or could it?

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A Love Affair for the Ages-Libations and Lips

 As usual, here I sit in front of my computer staring at a virtual page with virtual words plastered across it.  Suddenly, I think of the masters, namely Hemingway.  I can’t help but wonder how many words he penned sober whiskeyand how many under the influence of mind altering liquids.

 This leads me to think of my own life.  How many words have I penned sober, and in the days of yore when I was known to tip a grog or twelve, how many did I pen while gassed?

 Once again (as ideas are wanton to travel from point A to point B and continue on unabated), the word “buzz” bounces off my four walls several times and then into my brain.  At once I am weighed down with that nagging question of the ages.  “Buzz,” I think–that all important state of mind.  It’s not a ball, and it’s not a cold.  So why will the human race go through so much to catch one?

 The first evidence of a fermented beverage was found as residue in a clay pot 9,000 years ago.  At that time they would combine honey, rice and fruit.  I don’t have a clue about the finished product, other than inebriation was sure to follow.  Additional proof that the more things change the more they stay the same, and also that the “buzz” would never go out of style.

 Down through the ages mankind, thirsty for different tasting “buzzes,” develop different tasting drinks.  Beers and mead were always ready for a good time.  And then came the fermentation of grapes which we all know as wine. This beverage was so important during weddings in biblical times that it warranted the attention of Jesus.  In the French town of Cognac, the Dutch would transport wine long distances.  In order to make more room, the wine would be distilled, concentrating the beverage, allowing more to be shipped.  Once it reached its destination, the wine could be reconstituted and enjoyed by all.

 It was soon found that the distilled wine was enjoyed much more than its diluted cousin.  This distilled wine or burnt wine which translated to brandy wine was later shortened to “brandy.”  Then after a second distillation the beverage adopted the name of the town from whence it came, “Cognac.”

 During the middle ages, more alcohol than water was consumed due to the bacteria laden H20.  Even kids could walk around snockered.

 Sea faring ships carried more beer than water for the same reason.  British sailors were given a ration of one gallon of beer a day.

 During prohibition, organized crime was centered around the illegal sale of alcohol. Moonshining rose in popularity and profitability, especially in the Appalachian region. In fact, my bride hales from what one Parisian paper dubbed as the “moonshine capital of the world,” Franklin County, Virginia.

 There are alcoholic beverages still made today in some primitive cultures that are not fermented with sugar or yeast but human saliva.

 I am still confounded as to why the human race will go to such ends to achieve that grand ole pastime of “gettin high”.  Oh well, some things just aren’t meant to be answered.

 Now, where was I?  “Buzz”, “Buzz”, “Buzz”, Hemingway……..now I remember.  I was writing a story.

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