Red Wine & The Rack

What else happened this past weekend? We went to a 50th, wine-tasting birthday party for a friend of ours. It almost turned into a joke that we were actually going to something they had invited us to. I cannot count how many times prior to this party, over the past few years, we’ve been invited to their place for a get together, either dinner or a wine tasting (they’re very big on wines) and every time we’d have prior plans, mostly to see a show on Broadway. You remember how a year ago we were in the city to see a show almost every other weekend and after a while, they were beginning to get a complex. But for this party, as it turns out, we were free.

Earlier in the day, I downloaded VZNavigator to my phone, mainly for yucks, but afterwards, I typed in the address of the place we were going to and after playing around with the directions and a goodly dose of aggravation I got them to match the route Ariel mapped out on Google maps so that we could try out the VZNavigator against the actual map. Everything was going fine as we drove but at the last minute, David, the voice I chose to dictate the directions told us to turn right and almost immediately after told us to make the first legal U-turn we came to. Apparently we had passed the address, but oddly, the address we passed was not the address we were looking for but it was the address David was looking for.

I figured it out, though, as we retreated in the opposite direction. I was further experimenting with the settings on the map on my cell phone after I got the exact map programmed. At any place during the route on the map, including the destination point, you can get info about that particular spot. So, for ha-has, I was seeing if  there would be information about Les Saisons Inn, in Maplewood, where the party was being held but it was coming up with other addresses that must have been hidden underneath the marker named END [of the route] and it must have been the last one I looked at that got stored and it happened to be in the opposite direction of where we needed to be, prompting David to send us to the right instead of to the left.  The point is, we found the place, parked and went inside.

Five wines were being served throughout the night, each with a different complimentary pairing of food. The wine expert mingled among the guests, topping off glasses, adding tidbits of information about each wine as it was presented. The wait staff coursed through the crowd with various hors d’oeuvres, the best of which was the lamb chops (for me, anyway). Accolades of all the wines rang out like music from all of the guests; smell the bouquet, look at the legs, it’s earthy, it’s fruity. And then there was my review of the last three wines, all reds: “Tastes like fish”. I’m no wine expert, but I do know what tastes good to me and a lot of red wines have a fishy finish to me. Well, except the second one being sampled that tasted like sulphur. But the wine expert took it in stride, saying how everyone’s taste buds perceive tastes differently. I wasn’t being mean, but there was no sense in drinking something I wasn’t enjoying. Plus it made for entertaining conversation.

The Radio Chick began a new venture yesterday. It’s a brand new way of bringing her show to her fans, through Shovio, an interactive online  broadcasting program. It’s a step up from an audio only podcast in that you can actually see her as she does her “radio show/podcast” . It’s done in real time as opposed to a pretaped podcast and the audience can interact directly, either by becoming part of the broadcast by way of his or her own webcam, or by typing in a message in the contantly streaming instant messenger feature. Because of her time slot, it’s a bit restrictive as opposed to an on the go canned podcast, but the shows will be archived for later viewing, although the show won’t be interactive then. And for those fans who cannot attend the live feed or haven’t the capability or time to catch the archived shows, the Chick will be making available a podcast version of this newest pioneering venture.  And if you happen to join in, you’ll see me every now and then interacting with my onscreen name “Long Distance Brian.”

So, what is your take on the Illegal Alien Halloween costume?

                                illegal alien

I personally think it’s an amusing depiction of the term. However, what would otherwise seem to be a harmless holiday get-up is actually considered to be quite the opposite. Of course!  Believe it or not, immigrant rights activists such as The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles is all up in arms over the costume they call ‘distasteful, mean-spirited and ignorant of social stigmas’. The offensive item has been removed from Target stores, but is still being sold through other online retailers. Honestly, unless you’re an illegal alien, then why let this get under your skin? It’s just a silly Halloween costume. Aren’t all Halloween costumes offensive in some way? If you dress like a bum, isn’t that a jab at the unfortunate homeless? If you dress like a cop, isn’t that making light of a coveted profession? If you ungracefully trip up someone’s front steps while you’re wearing a ballerina tutu, isn’t that sort of ironically mocking? Relax, people, sometimes a Halloween costume is just a Halloween costume. So go grab a glass of leggy fishy tasting wine and just answer the door, hand out your goodies and have a good time.


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