Season of Friends
Thursday, December 1, 2005
MY FRIEND THE WRITER… It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go. Apparently, Americans are poised to spend somewhere around 500 billion dollars during the holiday season, purchasing all those “must have” items we’ve been convinced will make our lives so much better.
Advertising techniques have improved considerably over the past 40 years. Some of our most intelligent minds are devoted to the science of convincing people to perform certain behaviors. Like schools of sardines, our society simultaneously shifts its spending habits in the blink of an advertisement.
I suggest this be the year to perhaps slow down a bit to reconsider the original intent of the holiday season. Maybe take a little time off work; hang out with loved ones; exchange gifts of love and communication; reach out to someone in need with words of encouragement; hesitate a moment before reacting angrily; try to see the goodness in everyone.
One way to really capture the essence of what holidays are supposed to teach us is to check out my good friend Sonya Haramis’ latest book, Gracious Gifts...Expressions of the Divine—a series of parables about a Dreamer who takes us face-to-face with the Master in the time and place of the ever-present. No less than Deepak Chopra, James Redfield and Dr. John Gray have all endorsed this powerfully fulfilling journey into the eternal and timeless moment, where we all learn our spiritual truths.
Ms. Haramis, who also studies aikido at the Monterey Aikido Center, has previously written The Circle of Olympians, a modern metaphysical children’s book and homage to her Greek heritage. Look for them at www.peaceofthedreamer.com. You can also call her at 883-1993 to find out more.
THE BEST GOOD TIME… Another way to experience the holiday spirit of giving is by coming to the 15th Annual Feast for AIDS benefit on Dec. 3 at the Beach Club of Pebble Beach. Aside from the great lineup of chefs—YOICHI SAITO, LISA MAGADINI, JASON GILES, MATT MILLEA, TODD FISHER, TIM WOOD, BENJAMIN BROWN, MARK AINSWORTH and of course JEFF JAKE—there will be wonderful wines, dancing, live and silent auctions, the amazing scenery and most importantly, the joyful giving of much-needed funds for Monterey County AIDS Project, whose sole purpose is to help families and people in Monterey County stricken by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. MCAP helps provide housing, medical attention and quality of life for our fellow community members. WAYNE JOHNSON, Director of MCAP, leads a tireless and altruistic life dedicated to that end.
This is one of the best events of the entire year because of the genuinely loving spirit and fellowship present throughout the evening. It begins with a champagne reception at 6pm and rolls on into the evening. Call 394-4747 immediately to see if you can get yourself and a few friends into this important event. Otherwise, show up that night with a fat check and ask for me, I’ll get you in at my table.
MY FRIEND THE BREWER… Healthy doses of good food, wine and beer will help fuel the powerful locomotive of love during the holiday season and beyond. Try my buddy and Monterey Beer Festival partner JEFF MOSES’ new line of FARMHOUSE ALES from Farmhouse Brewing Company.
These ales were typically brewed in a rustic fashion for European farmers and their work hands in the 1800s. Farmhouse Brewing Company has released three special ales crafted in traditional farmhouse style by Master Brewers PETER LICHT and STEVE DONOHUE. Saison 7 is an unfiltered Belgian style farmhouse ale full of bold, racy flavors. Named for the lucky number 7 tank in which it is brewed, this special brew is purported to bestow good fortune upon its fans. Oasthouse IPA is brewed in the authentic farmhouse tradition with an intense burst of hoppy aroma and a lingering bitter-style finish. The third beer, Stone Fence Porter, is a dark, chocolatey, robust ale with spicy floral notes and a bold malt undertone. They should be hitting the stores and taverns about now so look for them. For info contact Jeff Moses at 408-842-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A REAL NICE PLACE… Another nice way to enjoy yourself this holiday season, as well as throughout the year, is at Fresh Cream Restaurant in Monterey. For 23 years, Fresh Cream has been wowing diners from here and across the world with a top notch dining experience, anchored by elegant French cuisine in a magnificent setting, professionally served yet in a completely unpretentious style. That points to the down-to-Earth sensibilities of STEVE CHESNEY, managing partner, and GREG LIZZA, executive chef.
Each of these two gentlemen (term used here somewhat loosely) are regular guys who are a hoot to hang around, but who also work very seriously at maintaining the lofty standards of a restaurant that is regularly booked by CEOs and captains of industry. With a growing lounge scene of young professionals adding a bit of spice to the mix of clientele, Fresh Cream is rolling along nicely into the new millennium, doing what it does so well for returning regulars and legions of new fans. Get on the phone to find out its location (shame on you if you don’t already know), 375-9798 or check it out at www.freshcream.com.