Good Weather Report
Thursday, January 25, 2007
PLAYING THROUGH…Rather a quiet winter. Even the El Niño rains have not yet materialized. I hope Mother Nature doesn’t wait until the AT&T to water these gardens. A little touch of weather here and there spices things up, but it’s always better when the weather cooperates for the crowds.
Once again, I have waited patiently by the mailbox but my invitation to play still hasn’t arrived. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear the organizers of that tournament just don’t realize what an asset (watch yourself) I would be. I’d be a lot more entertaining than some of the stiffs they’ve got playing now. Granted, I’m not a celebrity and no one knows who I am outside of Sweet Thing, a couple of hospitable restaurant owners, one or two homeless guys I give a few bucks to, the editor of this paper and a few family members who so far haven’t disavowed knowledge of my existence. But what’s that got to do with it? I could pay a small group of desperados to follow me around and cheer real loud, maybe get a band of men cross-dressed as cheerleaders to do routines whenever I make a putt or hit a good shot. Come on AT&T, what are you waiting for?
Instead, I guess I’ll be relegated to the heaving throng yearning to hobnob with the glitterati, clink drinks with the rich and famous, exchange BS about how much better their scores were in Carnoustie or Royal Melbourne or Valderrama. Instead of sharing delicacies in the VIP Players’ Tent, I’ll be chomping an overpriced hot dog, getting elbowed by moaning middle-aged women trying to get close to Kevin Costner, pushed aside by giggling teenyboppers gawking Chris O’Donnell, stampeded by swishy hairdressers trying to give Kenny G a haircut and stumbling over burnt-out Santa Cruztaceans looking for Alice Cooper at Poppy Hills while Cooper is playing Spyglass. Oh well, there’s always next year.
GOOD-VIBE CORNER…Maybe my aura is out of whack or my karma cockeyed. I think I’ll go down to the Pilgrim’s Way Bookstore & Secret Garden in Carmel to find something that will help. Paul and Cynthia Fridlund, owners, caretakers of the spirit and overall guides to good vibes, have amassed a spectacular collection of everything from books to fountains, packed into a serpentine store that defies initial impressions. Get online at pilgrimsway.com, or better still, get down there in person…on Dolores, between Fifth and Sixth, 624-4955.
One group whose karma is intact is the Fishwife and Turtle Bay folks. As is their custom, they’ll be giving out scholarships to local high school students who display the vision and self-discipline to further their education but may not have the means to do so. Fishwife has been awarding these scholarships since 1999. We’re so thankful they do. Stop by one of the Fishwife or Turtle Bay restaurants and ask the manager for an application, or ask your guidance counselor at school. I would never have gotten one of these when I was a kid—I was even screwier than I am now.
FFA FOR GROWNUPS…Hey, here’s something fun. Ag Venture Tours. One of our local characters, Evan Oakes, runs this customized wine tasting, agricultural and sightseeing tour brigade, transporting locals and visitors thirsty for knowledge. Ag Venture Tours offers groups of any size informative trips throughout Monterey, Salinas, Carmel Valley, Big Sur, Pebble Beach Santa Cruz Mountains, anywhere there is something interesting to see and do. They’ve been at it for 10 years and tour all year ‘round. Call 384-7686 or visit whps.com/agtours.
LOCAL VINOS…Since a few years back, when Santa Lucia Highlands began garnering solid reviews for the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah that was growing in them thar hills, there has been scuttlebutt (see Martha, he knows some big words) about the wineries from that area forming their own association. As Jacques Melac, prescient owner of Rancho Cellars in the Barnyard long ago noted, “California wineries are moving more and more toward the French method of identifying the place wine comes from.”
Today, domestic wine producers are rewording their labels, lauding vineyard sites, appellations and regions. Introducing Wine Artisans of Santa Lucia Highlands, an association of wineries like Hahn Estates, Paraiso Vineyards, Pessagno, Morgan, ROAR and others who ply their pickings in the Santa Lucia Hills. Look for a Web site, marketing campaigns, tasting events and all the other fun stuff wine people like to do for an excuse to get together and enjoy life.
LOCAL HERO…I see where Ted Balestreri, co-founder of the Sardine Factory, has captured yet another award. The 2006 Industry Leadership Award was recently presented to him at a Leadership Roundtable Conference held in Santa Barbara. The award each year recognizes one outstanding individual who has contributed to the success of the foodservice industry. I wonder if Ted wore that cool white suit and his angel wings to receive it…probably not. Ted and Bert must have to rent space somewhere along Cannery Row just to house all the plaques, trophies and awards they and the Sardine Factory have received.
Hey, log onto myspace.com/lechefinier and cafepress.com/3littlebirdies to see what our old friends Jerome and Spill are up to…call Grasing’s in Carmel to reserve a couple of seats for the Cima Collina Wine Dinner on Jan. 31. Chef Kurt Grasing will be creating a delicious multi-course feast to accompany this hot local winery that is catching the attention of wine lovers. Call Grasing’s GM, James Tolentino at 624-6562 or hit grasings.com…thanks for stopping by…FORE (probably should have put that at the beginning).