Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Well, I now hold in my hands an actual copy of Piratepedia, which hits stores on January 1, 2007 (just in time for my 40th birthday). A very awesome little book, if I do say so myself.

A bunch of stuff is tied in with this book, not the least of which is several appearances I'll be making to promote it, including some readings at local Barnes & Noble stores here in the city (a storytime reading in the Union Square store is already scheduled!!!). There's also the launch party for the book, which is coming up. Oh, and a website that's getting done in the next few weeks!

It's great to finally have a copy, both to look at—ah, the memories of writing it!—and to show people. It's also not lost on me that I have two degrees in writing and I was always to write, you know, LITERATURE, yet what I have finally managed to put out is a book for kids about pirates. Ah, the irony.

Now run out and preorder a copy!

What Do I Wanna Be When I Grow Up?

All this time off has forced me to really sit down and figure out what the hell I want to be when I grow up. It's probably an outgrowth of my turning 40—which, I'm shocked and a bit horrified to realize, is about 60 days away! Holy crap! Should I have a party? Should I run and hide?—but it's still a weird concept for me. I mean, I just a few months ago realized what I don't wanna do:
  • Work in your average "corporate American" office. The need to look busy cuz otherwise you're not productive pisses me off.
  • Work with more God-complex technology people. Grown up geeks tend to really exude that holier-than-thou vibe; look, it's not my fault you were geeky in adolescence and couldn't find a girlfriend and/or beer/other drug. I did and turned out (relatively) fine. Take your "my kung-fu iz teh hax0r and u r lame" and peddle it to some beta-male geek. I'll likely as not insult you or just kick your ass. Cuz I can. And cuz plenty of other people who know you would applaud if I did.
  • Work a technology job like it means something to me other than a paycheck; tech jobs have done fine by me in the money area, but they don't feed my soul and I've realized in the past few months that my soul is fuckin starvin! It drove me out of my last job in search of sustsustenance...
So, what do I wanna do? That was what the wine class and the voiceover class were for. And, I gotta tell ya, the wine stuff strikes a chord in me. And not just cuz you get paid to drink wine, either (although that is a nice perk). I can see myself as a wine curator (that's the person who stocks the wine cellar; well, more than that, but it's as into the topic as I'll get here) for somewhere like Cru or Craft. That would really rock my world, I think. If only I could figure out a way to get something like that going. See, I have too much accumulated stuff and debt to just drop everything and do that. I need a plan. And a job..... But, I guess I've got step 1 (get a job) and step 2 (make a career change plan), which is better off than I was 3 months ago.... Man, there's a change in me evident right there: a year ago, I'd be all pissin n moanin about shit and not be able to see a positive or bright side. So change is possible! Amazing!

Wine of the Week - November 13th, 2006

Well, having finished my WSET Intermediate Certification in wine course at the International Wine Center—the test was last Thursday—it's weird to not have a night where I sit down, think about, talk about and drink wine. So, naturally, I found myself at a friend's house drinking and talking about wine.

We had a real treat tonight, as I pulled a Sauternes from Oriel Wines. Now, Sauturnes aren't for everyone. First, it's a dessert wine, which will seemingly automatically put this wine into a "I don't drink that" category. Well, it shouldn't and I'll get to why in a minute. But, if it does, hell, more for me.

Sauternes are French wines that are "boytritised" wines: the grapes are attacked by the boytritis cinerea fungus (also known as "noble rot"), which shrivels the grapes and concentrates flavors and sweetness, as well as adding some distinctive flavors to the grapes and hence the wines that are produced.

This Oriel Sauturnes is a knock out, lemme tell you. I got the noble rot on the nose right away: a smell that reminds me of rye bread dough. "What the hell," you're saying, "That's gross!" Well, no, it's not. It's just there, on the nose. And I've smelled *much* worse in wines in class (tar, smoke and rubber, anyone? That came from a red wine). There's some citrus and vanilla, too, so hopefully that will make some of you happy.

But the taste! Man! A silly, over-the-top amount of apricot, as well as some nice doughy notes. And yes, this is a dessert wine. Served chilled, it will rock you.

So, for taste, for its noble rot and to get y'all to try something new and different, this bay is the wine of the week. Plus, you can mix a LOT of different foods (Roquefort cheese OR a fresh fruit tart among others), so it's versatile, too.