Jan. 29, 2005

Viva la Vino

It's almost becoming a tradition for me and my vino-lovin' pals to hit ZAP in January. ZAP stands for "Zinfandel Advocates and Producers" and it's one of the largest wine festivals that's thrown at Fort Mason in San Francisco. It's also a great way to spend the day legitimately getting tipsy with your friends as you drink some of the best wine in California.

I'm a Bonny Doon girl myself (not just because of the vineyard's name) mainly because it's tasty, affordable and quirky. Many of their labels are drawn by Ralph Steadman (the same chap who does the cover art for Hunter S. Thomspn's novels). I came across them when I lived in Boulder Creek and I haven't stopped drinking it since. It's very versatile and you can even find it at Safeway of all places. I suggest Original Zin for beginners. They also no longer use corks. They're all about the screw top, which I love mainly because I hate de-corking wine. What can I say, I'm a lazy lush. So one of the highlights was having my photo taken with Bonny Doon's founder -- Randall.

As I meandered through the crowds tasting every kind of Zin imaginable, I tried my best to sip wines that I would never ever be able to splurge on. Some of these went for $200 a bottle on up. But to tell you the truth. Either years of eating salsa has killed my tastebuds, or I'm not as cultured as I thought. I honestly couldn't tell much difference from the pricey wines and the regular ones. The only wine that totally took my breath away was from the Coturri Winery from Glen Ellen, CA. When you taste a Coturri wine you know you're not getting a typical vino. They pride themselves on making wine in an all-organic way (you can find their wines at most Whole Foods and Real Foods health stores), but it was the peppery punch, and sometimes fruity overload that made me yell "Hell yeah!" in the middle of a crowded festival when I took my first sip. If I ever see their wine in the store, I'm stocking up and not sharing!

Other highlights of the festival included me stalking two cute fellas who Meghan swears are straight even though they were dressed like hipsters and *ahem* at a WINE FESTIVAL. I also loved hanging out with Iowa friends that I haven't seen in almost 2 years. And of course, watching Erin get more giggly as the day progressed.

More photos from ZAP:

Jan. 28, 2005

Singin' at Sharon's

I don't know why, but in the last 2 months I've been going to more karaoke parties than I have in my entire life. Granted, I don't sing -- I take memorable blackmail photos. I have to say it's fun to watch your best pals sing their little hearts out to the likes of Journey, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, ABBA and Billy Idol.

Because pictures speak louder than words, here's a selection of photos from Ms. Sharon's fabulous 25th Birthday Shindig!

Sharon's Sing-A-Long Extravaganza:

Jan. 17, 2005

Vote for Pedro.

Very rarely do movies compel me to watch them multiple times. But in the case of Napoleon Dynamite. I saw the movie 4 times in the theater (twice for the new wedding ending) and 3 times on DVD. I think the first time I saw it I was with friends who thought it would be a cross between Welcome to the Dollhouse and Sixteen Candles. It's not.

It takes place in the director/co-writer's (Jared Hess) hometown of Preston, Idaho -- a town where time forgot. Sure there's the Internet for Kip to chat online with babes. But everyone dresses like Sears hasn't gotten any new clothes since 1987. The characters are something out of a David Lynch movie, without the horror. If Jerri Blank from "Stangers With Candy" had a fmaily just like her, this would be it. Nerdy just doesn't do it justice. What makes this film endearing and addictive probably has something to do with the fact that all the weird little moments in the film are based on things that really did happen to the director growing up in rural Idaho.

So here's my list of interesting trivia and reasons why you should rent this flick, now!

  • Best opening credits I've ever seen using condiments and school supplies to spell out cast and crew names!
  • The actor who plays the lead of Napoleon Dynamite -- Jon Heder -- actually drew all those bizarre sketches of unicorns farting, ligers and the portrait of the girl he asked to prom.
  • Big Jakes -- best strawberry shakes you'll ever down -- in Preston.
  • All Uncle Rico consumes during the film is steak and milk. The actor who plays him -- Jon Gries -- is a vegetarian who hated milk. This is the same actor who also played Lazlo Hollyfeld (the genius who lived in the closet) in Real Genius.
  • Check out the tacky retro decor in the Dynamite home -- lots of odd wallpaper, dual portaits, and a bobcat hide on the wall.
  • Longest telephone cord EVER!
  • Ebay-bought time machine or torture device?
  • A closer look at what it takes to earn a ribbon from the FFA!
  • Napoleon's t-shirt collection is IMPRESSIVE! And let us not forget the moonboots!
  • Rex Kwon Do!
  • Happy Hands Club!
  • Soundtrack features White Stripes, old-school Cyndi Lauper, Money Mark and tons of odd Woolsworth type tunes.
  • Teatherball!
  • Tina the llama (the director's mom's llama).
  • D-Qwon's Dance Moves are really moves improved by actor Jon Heder. Check out those spirit fingers!
  • Vote for Pedro A-Team montage!
  • Kip's love song: "Yes, I love technology/But not as much as you, you see."

Jan. 1, 2005

2005 New Year's Resolutions

1. Finish writing a screenplay. -- It doesn't have to be brilliant, heck it can even be total crap, but it has to be completed by the end of the year!
2. Write more freelance articles -- for the magazines BUST, Organic Gardening, Giant Robot, and Readymade.
3. Stop falling behind at work. -- Meet those deadlines -- there's a reason why "dead" is in the word.
4. Move to a better living situation. -- That means no more living in a cramped apartment next to a park filled with crackheads or having to deal with psycho neighbors. I also want be in a safe enough hood where I never have to call the cops.
5. Save money. -- I want to have my savings mean something for a change.
6. Clean out the clutter. -- Twice this year I want to do a huge purge of stuff I don't need or use.
7. Eat better. -- Cut down on soda, sugar, booze and bread. More veggies, fruits and WATER.
8. Exercise DAILY! -- Go to the gym every week day, no matter what.
9. Finish craft projects and give them as gifts. -- If you get a portrait of you done with lima beans, this is why.
10. Read more. -- I have a huge stack of fiction and non-fiction books that I keep meaning to read but haven't yet. Before I buy any more books from my huge Amazon wishlist, I think I better start paying attention to the books I already own!
11. RELAX. -- I tend to stress quite a bit, so I want to work on meditation, stress management and regular appointments with a masseuse (even if it's just for 15 minutes).

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