Round Up

28 02 2005

Cinema
Good – Wu Jian Do
Bad – Saw
Fugly – Hitch

Cellar
Red – Tudal 1998 Cab Sauv
White – Little Penguin Chardonnay 2003
Bubbles – Napa Cellars NV Sparkling Rose

Cocktail
Sea Breeze. Shake 2 oz. vodka, 3 oz cranberry juice, 2 oz grapefruit juice with ice and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with lime wedge.





Stark Crossed

27 02 2005

Overheard: “Selfreferral is like group sex: good only if you’re included.”





Rain Again

26 02 2005

But it is comforting that I am in a jungle. If I wanted three (3) weeks of rain, I should like to live in Seattle, not Dublin. More about MIAmi.

Hotel recommendations:
Fontainebleau Hilton
Loews Miami Beach
Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort
Best Western Beach Resort
Courtyard by Marriott Miami Beach Oceanfront
Days Inn Oceanside
Days Inn South Beach
Fairfield Inn & Suites
Four Points by Sheraton





Oscar Mire

25 02 2005

Ready for the gushfest? A ballot if you are betting or otherwise partying.

Compare your bets.

PICTURE: Million Dollar Baby**
DIRECTOR: Mr. Eastwood
ACTOR: Mr. Foxx
ACTRESS: Ms. Swank
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mr. Freman
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Ms. Blanchett*
SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED): Sideways
SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL): Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Sea Inside
ANIMATED FEATURE: The Incredibles
ANIMATED SHORT: Ryan*
LIVE ACTION SHORT: Little Terrorist*
DOCUMENTARY: Born Into Brothels
DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Autism is a World*
ART DIRECTION: The Aviator
CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Aviator
FILM EDITING: The Aviator
C OSTUME DESIGN: The Aviator
MAKEUP: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
ORIGINAL SCORE: Finding Neverland
ORIGINAL SONG: Believe
SOUND EDITING: The Incredibles
SOUND MIXING: The Aviator
VISUAL EFFECTS: Spider-Man 2

*I have not seen all nominees in this category, YMMV
**Counterintuitive. The film most nominated (“The Aviator“) has always won Best Picture.

Don’t forget to send a portion of your office pool winnings to Tsunami Relief.





Week in Wine

24 02 2005

Amador and El Dorado county wine producers offer good QPR (quality price ratio) for their Zinfandels and Italiand and Rhone varietals. Availability may be dodgy but all offer direct sales.

WHAT TO SIP
2000 Amador Foothill Clockspring Vineyard Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel ($13)
2000 Boeger El Dorado County Reserve Barbera ($25)
2000 Cedarville Vineyard Sierra Foothills El Dorado Syrah ($25)
1999 Domaine de la TerreRouge Sierra Foothills Syrah ($24)
2000 Granite Springs Fair Play Estate Zinfandel ($30)
2000 Karly Warrior Fires Amador County Zinfandel ($24)
2000 Lava Cap El Dorado County Syrah Reserve ($20)
2000 Madrona El Dorado Zinfandel ($14)
1999 Montevina Terra d’Oro Reserve Sangiovese ($16)
1999 Perry Creek Estate Bottled El Dorado Cabernet Sauvignon ($16)
2000 Renwood Amador County Barbera ($20)
2000 Sierra Vista El Dorado Fleur de Montagne ($21)
2001 Sobon Estate Shenandoah Valley Viognier ($14)

WHERE TO STAY
Amador Harvest Inn, 12455 Steiner Rd., Plymouth (800) 217-2304
Four-room B&B at Deaver Vineyards with views of vines and the winery, from $125
Foxes Bed and Breakfast Inn, 77 Main St., Sutter Creek (800) 987-3344
Seven attractive one-bedroom units, from $155
Mine House Inn, 14125 Hiway 49, Amador City (800) 646-3473
Highwayn inn with free full breakfasts and white-tablecloth dining at dinner, from $95

WHERE TO EAT
Caffe Via d’Oro, 36 Main St., Sutter Creek (209) 267-0535
Italian-Mediterranean menu, great pizza and 45 Zinfandels.
Imperial Hotel, 14202 Highway 49, Amador City (800) 242-5594
Fine dining in a restored 1879 hotel with a nice selection of fresh meat, poultry and seafood dishes.
Zinfandels, 51 Hanford St., Sutter Creek (209) 267-5008
Eclectic California cuisine and lots of Zin

WHERE TO DRINK
Karly, 11076 Bell Rd., Plymouth, (209) 245-3922
Montevina, 20680 Shenandoah School Rd., Plymouth, (209) 245-6942
Renwood Winery, 12225 Steiner Rd., Plymouth, (209) 245-6979
Sobon Estate, 14430 Shenandoah Rd., Plymouth, (209) 245-4455
Story Winery, 10525 Bell Rd., Plymouth, (800) 713-6390

Sidebar: That annoying mobile user at the dinner table next to you? Mister inconsiderate cellphone man at the cinema? History piloted by your palm.

Caution: Wines listed are available but may not be in all stores. Start with local wine merchants, but also try larger stores. I get my wine from BevMo. Drinking during pregnancy is associated with birth defects.





Rice fields

23 02 2005

Her name is inspired by the Italian musical notation “con dolcezza“, meaning to play with sweetness. Where is this historic yet strange but friendless lady headed?

She told George Stephanopoulos:
One final question. You know, you’ve been asked this question before but the speculation about you running for President just cannot stop. Look at this website, Rice2008.com. They’re now popping up all over the Internet. And when you’re asked by the Washington Times the other day if you would rule out running for President, you said that’s not a fair question. Why isn’t that a fair question?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don’t know how many ways to say no, so let me just say it. I don’t have any desire to run for President. I don’t intend to. I won’t do it. I think that —

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You will not run for President?

SECRETARY RICE: I won’t. How’s that? Is that categorical enough?

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s about as clear as you can get. Jeb Bush said the same thing last fall. You said it there. That is an absolute statement. A lot of dreams are going to die today, Secretary Rice.

Thank you very much for joining us.

She told Bob Schieffer:

MR. SCHIEFFER: I have to ask you about this. You have visited several of the Sunday programs this morning and I know you have said you are not going to run for President, you have no intention of running for President, even though there are a lot of those rumors out there.

Why?

SECRETARY RICE: I’ve never wanted to run for anything, Bob. I don’t think I ran for class president at any time. I was sort of searching my memory banks. I don’t think I even ran for class president at any point.

Look, I know what it takes to run for President. I’ve watched it up close a couple of times. I have enormous respect for people who will do that. But I want to do what I’m doing. I love being Secretary of State thus far. I liked being National Security Advisor. And one of these days very soon I’m going to want to return and be an academic again and get back to the California life and to the world of ideas.

She told Tim Russert:

MR. RUSSERT: Before you go, let me show you some photographs on the screen. Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Van Buren, Buchanan. What do those six men have in common?

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, Tim, that’s too tough for a Sunday morning.

MR. RUSSERT: They were all Presidents of the United States that were at one time Secretaries of State.

SECRETARY RICE: Okay. All right.

MR. RUSSERT: In light of that, I was up on the Internet last night and found this website: http://www.americansforrice.com, and it features these bumper stickers and this song. (Song is played.)

Should that website be removed?

SECRETARY RICE: It’s freedom of speech. But let me say, I don’t have any desire or intention of running for President. I’ve never wanted to run for anything and I just don’t have any desire to do it.

MR. RUSSERT: Desire or intention?

SECRETARY RICE: Both.

MR. RUSSERT: There was a great American named General William Sherman, and this is what he said: “If nominated, I will not accept. If elected, I will not serve.” Will you issue a Shermanesque statement?

SECRETARY RICE: Tim, I don’t want to run for President of the United States.

MR. RUSSERT: I will not run?

SECRETARY RICE: I do not intend to run for — no, I will not run for President of the United States. How’s that?

MR. RUSSERT: Period?

SECRETARY RICE: I don’t know how many different ways to say no in this town.

MR. RUSSERT: Period?

SECRETARY RICE: I really don’t.

MR. RUSSERT: Period? I will not run as President — for President?

SECRETARY RICE: I have no intention. I don’t want to run. I think people who run are great, but I don’t want to run.

MR. RUSSERT: That’s a Shermanesque statement?

SECRETARY RICE: A Shermanesque statement.

MR. RUSSERT: You’re done. You’re out?

SECRETARY RICE: I’m done.

MR. RUSSERT: There’s news. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY RICE: I hope not.

MR. RUSSERT: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who just said she will never run for President; correct?

SECRETARY RICE: Tim, why do you keep pressing me to make these statements?

MR. RUSSERT: Well, because if you’re Secretary of State will it affect your ability —

SECRETARY RICE: I don’t want to run for President of the United States. I have no intention of doing so. I don’t think I’ll be President of the United States ever. Is that good enough?

MR. RUSSERT: And you’ll never run?

SECRETARY RICE: I don’t intend to run.

MR. RUSSERT: But it’s different —

SECRETARY RICE: I won’t run.

MR. RUSSERT: Oh, we got it.

SECRETARY RICE: All right, there you go.





Executive Decision

22 02 2005

All of us will die. Few of us have Advance Directives. It is good to know more about this in advance (hence the name). Here is the form for California and this is a good resource for physicians who need to discuss this with families.

This Terry Schiavo thing is puzzling me. While tens of thousands are taken off life support when deemed vegetative, it is inexplicable why non-medical persons are stepping all over her case. Interestingly, Mr. Bush signed into law something that codifies and legalizes the ability of doctors to stop treatment even if it goes against the explicit directive of the patient or the patient’s family. This was Texas in 1999.