Well Putt

Label Maker: Thomas Arvid completes his latest wine wonderwork for Pebble Beach Food and Wine on the deck at the Beach and Tennis Club.

Ready… Bing!… Oh Bing. If only we could wish upon a star-studded cast of hapless hackers for one more weekend singsong stroll behind you, the joyful warbler, Godfather of Clambake Central, Bada Bing, doobee doobee do. I imagine no ropes, no neoprene corporate villages over-stuffed with rum-soaked celebrity-sniffers, although back in Bing’s day no doubt the seeds of celebrity sycophantism germinated as surely as pitch canker – both cankers reaping their grim harvests in this modern age.

Too bad ole’ Bing didn’t hang around a little longer. I would like to have seen him star in a film about a psychotic golf professional at a mid-level country club in a nondescript section of the country – today that would be just about every suburb across every state – who purposely corrupts his students’ swings so they can not only never improve, but so they become so frustrated that his gentle discouragement cloaked as encouragement sends them into retirement by the dozens. His motivation would be that he didn’t feel any of them were worthy of playing “his game.”

Perhaps, during one of the scenes, at the club Christmas party, he might be empathically listening to the president lament the declining membership, while at the bar, on a silent television screen, Bing, as omnipotent do-gooder Bob Wallace, sings “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” to Betty Haynes, played by Rosemary Clooney. Oh, that probably never would have happened… unless maybe Steven King was around to convince him. I guess we’ll remain secure, bathed in the lingering afterglow of our beloved Bing’s (Bingering afterglow?) unyieldingly sunny persona.

But sunny’s got nothing to do with it (hey Martha, wasn’t that a line from one of Clint’s movies?). Hope (no relation) for sunny is more like it. Each year, the Peninsula holds its breath in anticipation of horizontal rain. The time has come to seriously entertain the proposed switch of the tour’s Florida swing in the fall with the California swing in the winter. We know Bing couldn’t stop singing about it, but nobody around here is dreaming of a white Christmas.

Down With Gowns… If now was then, White Christmas might be up for an Academy Award (at least if the jury was made up of children and weepy old sops like me). Then, when you go to the 17th Annual Academy Awards Party with Oscar on Feb. 24, you could cheer for our local treasure Bing to take home the bling. Oddly, the theme is “A Flashback to the ’50s” – wasn’t that when White Christmas was made… hmmm. Of course this is one of the big fundraisers for Monterey County AIDS Project so make sure you get to CSU Monterey Bay beginning at 5pm to enjoy the revelry, food and drink, dancing, acceptance speeches, but most of all, to support this great organization. E-mail kat@mcap.org or call 394-4747 x18.

Out Of The Bottle… Got a chance to hang out with Thomas Arvid last week. He is the gentleman who creates those incredibly life-like paintings of wine bottles you have seen around (I know there are a couple at Grasing’s as well as Christopher’s). Arvid, who has a four-year waiting list for commissions, agreed to do one for the inaugural Pebble Beach Food and Wine, scheduled for March. He was in town at the Beach Club to promote the piece.

“What we have in the piece is one of the bottles from each of the reserve tastings,” explained the Grape Juice Gauguin. “It kind of represents the weekend here and it could also represent just a great evening of having friends together and rolling through several bottles of wine.” There will be limited edition prints available for purchase at the event and I’m sure if you bought one, Mister Arvid would gladly sign it for you – he’ll be here enjoying himself with the rest of us. Nice man, very talented, found his niche in life, I’m jealous, way to go Rob Weakley, nice score.

Good Lovin’… Hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Call it the New Year’s Eve of Love – all the amateurs feel compelled to do something. Usually that includes going out to dinner. VD (interesting) is the night when restaurants everywhere get deuced to death. I must be getting old ‘cause I just want to laugh at how silly people are. Here’s an idea for you free thinkers: Take your sweetie out the night before VD. The restaurants are stocked and ready to go but you won’t have to compete with jamokes pretending they like each other. You can linger, put a ring on her finger, take her home for a little flinger and toast V-Day when the clock does a dozen ringer… whoa.

Steam Ahead… All aboard who’s going aboard. My man Kurt “Julia’s Boy” Grasing is going on another Food and Wine Afficionado Cruise, April 17 to 27. Destination(s): Turkey, Greece, Sicily and Spain. He’s the Chef Daddy who does a little demonstration cooking, drinks a little wine, takes pictures with the guests… what a gig. Hey, I’m a food and wine aficionado… take me. This is going to be spectacular in a relaxed sort of way and if you can go and don’t, you should have your corkscrew taken away – nothing more I can say. Call Michael “Silver Hair” Mastrocola at 659-0151 or e-mail msmastrocola@sbcglobal.net.

Closing Ceremony… Shoot, there’s always something more I can say. How about the Monterey County Film Commission’s Big Night Gala at Spanish Bay on Feb. 24. It’s an Oscar party to benefit the nonprofit film commission. There will be a four-course dinner, wine, and silent auction (how will anyone know what the bids are?), plus big screen and best of all “Sardonic” Dan Green from KSBW as the emcee. Festivities begin at 5pm with a walk on the red carpet, 646-0910, info@filmmonterey.org… now it’s time to say goodbye… goodbye.

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