Monday, April 28, 2008

I said I would rather be with your friends, mate

Another really good champagne/sparkling wine is Sofia by Francis Coppola. It is super yummy. (Exactly why it is super yummy is a little muddled at the moment, but it really was.) And in a really pretty pink bottle with a pretty label. And yes, I did buy it because it was named after rocking writer/director Sofia Coppola (geek grin) and in a pretty bottle, but it tasted SO GOOD. Also, tastes divine with both strawberries and blue cheese.

Saturday night was a ridiculously fun time. I had invited "The Ladies" over to watch movies ostensibly (a Zombie Double Feature of Shaun of the Dead and Army of Darkness) but it degraded turned into a night of discussion, the quality of which rapidly eroded after the consumption of champagne and sidecars into a reflection on high school, movies, and music, and I dug out my old Charlie Sexton tapes and made people listen while PunkRockMom and I reflected on the music from our youth.

In the meantime, my friend MEM directs me to the blog Fail, which is really big on the schaudenfreude.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Year of Champagne (Anytime)

I don't think that have mentioned this in my journal yet, but 2008 is the "Year of Champagne (Anytime)" (as 2007 was the "Year of the Sidecar".) I have gotten a number of people to convert to the sidecar (a classic cocktail that should not have been as sorely neglected as it has) last year, and now I am trying to encourage people that champagne should not be reserved purely for special occasions, but can be enjoyed at any time.

This of course requires finding a champagne that you like. For a long time, I was convinced that all champagne tasted like that $10 Korbel Brut (eww!), and I didn't really like the high end Veurve Cliquot either as it was too dry for my taste. However, a lot of tasting later (and a clever friend who was able to help me identify what I liked and disliked in champagne,) and I have been converted to sparkling white wine!! I am now a huge fan of prosecco and have been attempting to find "my" champagne.

One of the sparkling white wines that I have tried and liked is Roederer Estate (Roederer is a French brand, but Estate is grown/made in California.) It is really good and, at $19 a bottle at Trader Joe's, is very reasonably priced for a Roederer. I should think that only a real wine proficient could tell this California wine (a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir) from the real thing. And as a person who doesn't really LIKE champagne (I still prefer prosecco,) I could seriously drink this stuff like water. SO SO SO good. It is bubbly fruity goodness. It is very good served cold, although when it warms up, it is still quite nice. I suggest serving it with some stinky cheese and fruit on a Friday after work.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

Sister K mentioned last weekend as we drove her friend D-Rod out to Logan Airport that UPS is now planning their routes not to include any left hand turns to save on gasoline and be more "green" overall.

There is an article about that in today's Green Blog at I think that it is certainly something to consider. I have been taking a number of left hand turns now that my usual route to work has been disrupted by major construction at BU. (Thanks a lot BU for fixing the sidewalks, but it would have been nicer if someone fixed the twelve million potholes first. Just an idea.) But my usual route is nearly all right hand turns. So I am doing my bit, and I wasn't even thinking about it.

Imagine if we all planned our commutes to eliminate left hand turns. At $3.23 a gallon, I don't see any harm in doing so!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Skanking in my Head

I don't think that it is possible to say enough about the positive influence that a little bit of ska can have on the soul. So I am not going to even try. I will just remark that anything that can put a little bit of rhythm in your body when you are operating on way too little sleep and wearing a suit is a very good thing.

Friday, April 11, 2008


You know that spring is really here when you can smell the freshly laid mulch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Out and About

So I had mentioned before I went away that I was planning to attend an event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It was one of their Third Thursday After Hours at the ISGM, and I would like to encourage all of my fellow Bostonians to attend if they have the opportunity and inclination. It was a young crowd and certainly not a meat market. (Though we speculated that there might have been some first dates going on there. Gentlemen, this is a great first date locale!)

The museum looked beautiful; it was like being at a party at a villa in Venice or Spain. The ambiance was very romantic (in a classic sense), and yet, there was still a cool vibe coming from the jazz combo playing in the courtyard. When I first walked in, I commented to Co-Worker Corey that I felt like I was in The Talented Mr. Ripley in the Matt Damon role ("I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody... than a real nobody"), but by the night I ended up feeling ended up feeling really special, like I had been let in on a secret.

We ended up being joined by some of my other friends and enjoyed a delicious meal at the cafe, which had plenty of room available, great service, and wonderful fare. I would certainly go there top eat again, and the prices were very reasonable.

I love the museum itself, mostly because it doesn't feel like a museum. It feels like you are in a European villa, and the owner has given you carte blanche to examine their collection. The coolest thing JR and I discovered, quite by chance, was a scrap of a dress owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, that was hidden under velvet in one of the display cases. We only wished that the hallway was a little bit brighter to help us see more clearly.

Something to keep in mind: finding a parking space at 6:00pm was the most difficult part of the evening. My friends who joined us closer to 7:00pm had a far less difficult time. We did end up in a primo spot on Museum Street, but only after circling for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tunes on the Player

Sister B gave me an iPod shuffle for my birthday a couple of weeks ago (I am officially in my mid-30s, which are the new mid-20s, so I am not bothered... much,) and I am totally hooked on this little piece of technology. The purpose for the gift was to help motivate me to go to the gym (which I am doing,) but more importantly, I am working on the world's greatest exercise mix. Unfortunately, the world's greatest exercise mix is more like the world's greatest dance mix, and, instead of making me want to walk on the treadmill, it makes me want to go out dancing. I need to get some folks together to make that happen.

RANDOM DIGRESSION: It seems like lately, I have been listening a lot to Muse and the Viva Blackpool soundtrack. (God, I love import cds.) I need to broaden my musical horizons at present. I usually am listening to a whole bunch of random things at once, but lately, Muse and Viva Blackpool seem to dominate. I am toying with the idea of going to see the lead singer of Pink Martini at the Paradise, but I am concerned that it won't be Pink Martini material. The other idea I was toying with was seeing Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls at the Boston Pops. THAT would be interesting, but I don't know if I want to fork over the cash. (I suppose that is what happens when you are used to seeing bands in clubs, and they break into the big time.)


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