Raw and Ready
Thursday, September 6, 2007
CATCH UP...The Carmel TomatoFest is right around the corner. It arrives on Sept. 16, at Quail Lodge, a yearly wonderland of those magical orbs we call heirloom tomatoes, thanks to the vision of Gary Ibsen, its founder and chief farming crazy (let’s face it: you have to be a little crazy to farm). Lucky festival attendees will commune with perfectly ripened and cared-for varieties of locally grown heirlooms cut up all alone for sampling as well as woven into the many deliciously inventive concoctions presented by local restaurateurs. Add wine, beer, music, fresh air, fun people and frivolity, you’ve got a guaranteed great day. Check out tomatofest.com.
I’ll tell you who else I’ll be seeing, and seeing more of: my pal and inspiration, Valerie Ramsey. If you haven’t yet heard, Valerie, who has been PR director at Pebble for a while, has recently begun a new career, modeling. In addition, the grandmother and devoted wife of Wally (or as his students at Robert Louis Stevenson referred to him, “The Big Wallenda”) Ramsey has secured a book deal, been asked to be keynote speaker for the American Cardiac Association and has appeared on national television. In fact, you can catch her again on The Today Show on Sept. 10. As I have said in the past and will continue saying in the future…you go you big girl you.
BELLY UP...Kurt Grasing, chef/owner of both Grasing’s and Carmel Chop House in, duh, Carmel, and one of the nicest guys in the industry, was all excited about the brand new bar he installed on the patio at Grasing’s. It helps convert the patio into an afternoon/evening lounge feel, complete with cocktails, wine, great food and even some live music now and again. Let’s face it, there aren’t many better things to do than sit outdoors, sip, and munch in a beautiful town like Carmel (wait, there aren’t any other towns like Carmel) and relish the realities we all live every day: That this is the best place on Earth.
Andre and Nargis Lengacher of Lugano’s Swiss Bistro are always revving that place up for fun and good times, Swiss style. If you go to swissbistro.com you’ll get an idea of the many ways to enjoy yourself at this Carmel Barnyard Swiss hideaway. There is a dog-friendly patio to go along with the hopping activities inside the restaurant where regular live music complement the always live Andre and his regular irregular antics throughout the dining room. Swiss food, beer, wine and fun, what more can you possibly ask for.
SAFETY MEETING...Mary Pagan of the Monterey Culinary Center sent along some important info about how to recognize when someone is having a stroke. Nowadays, if a stroke victim can get to medical care within three hours of the stroke, the effects can be completely reversed. That’s a huge motivation to learn the simple, three-step process to check after someone seemingly falls for no reason or appears weird out of the blue (not very technical I know, but you know what I mean). Step one: ask them to smile. Step two: have them raise their arms over their head. Step three: have them say a simple sentence, something like the hospital is around the corner, or some such thing. If they are having trouble performing those functions, call 911 and get that person immediately in front of a doctor who knows how to help. Thanks Mary for the informative tip and your always caring and beautiful energy.
Recently bumped into Kathy Solley, GM of Montrio in downtown Monterey and dedicated Pittsburgh Steelers fan, at Whole Foods. Seems she’s not only a talented and inspirational leader of nutty hospitality types, but also makes sure she eats the right foods and cares about the planet. Stop down to Montrio and say hi.
FATHER GRIM...Two minor blips on my life’s radar screen over the past few weeks have been gnawing at me, so naturally, they’ll now be gnawing at you: Caught a bit of the movie Lord of War last week, then noticed this morning on one of my news e-bulletins that Bush was asking for $50 billion more for the war. The other input came in the form of two amazing documentaries; White Light, Black Rain and Why We Fight.
White Light, Black Rain is about the nuke-ular bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. It is as moving a piece as I’ve seen in a long time and reawakens dormant realities of those two horrific acts. Why We Fight is a film that begins with retiring president Eisenhower’s prescient speech warning the American people about the vast buildup of arms and the influence of arms manufacturers in the policy making of our country. That was like, 50-odd years ago.
There are two unfortunate realities today that reinforce the notion that our world is going (has gone) to hell in a handbasket. The first is that, despite many people’s awareness of it, the military industrial complex (Eisenhower’s term), along with other industrial complexes, have steadily crept into policy-making throughout the world, rendering virtually all governments puppet arms at the end of their strings—that’s right, virtually all governments, including the one whose name is printed on your weakening dollar bill. The other, more unfortunate reality is that most people don’t know, don’t believe it, don’t care or worse, are colluders.
In today’s chaotic world, the powers that be (may they someday each and every one of those lowlife sonuvabitches feel the weight of their actions upon their own lives) have crafted the perfect maelstrom of desperation, destitution, despicability and despair. Meanwhile, an anesthetized apathetic mass public drugs itself at the feeding trough of pre-packaged, putrefying propaganda, too bloated and too blind to see a thing. Sometimes, the charade just wears a little thin, too thin man. It’s all gonna grind to a deafening, squealing halt someday, guaranteed. Like all the pitiful little human “civilizations” that came before this one, we’re falling and we can’t get up. Thanks for stoppin’ by.