Saturday, December 31, 2011

Au Revior 2011

Highlights of art in various forms I've enjoyed in 2011

I must say that I read some good books this year, but one specifically comes to mind:  Just Kids, By Patti Smith.  If you want to experience humbleness, true appreciation for life and what it feels like to be a kid again - you must read this book.

An oldie - inspired by a documentary by Martin Scorsese called "Living in the Material World", on the life of Beatle George Harrison.  Here comes the Sun....nuff said

I fell in love with Jackson Pollack again.  My favorite is called:  Untitled, 1944.  It reminds of one person being stimulated by immediate forces of the world - all at once.  Check it out at the Art Institute.

Casa Perini Marselan 2008, Serra Gaúcha, Brasil
Up until two years ago, I only preferred reds over whites, its been the other way around for a while. However, this red varietal Marselan, indigenous to Brasil - really blew me away.  It was floral, earthy and jammy black berries all in one.  An elegant wine that I believe will age nicely in the next few years.

Francois Lurton Torrontés 2010, Mendoza, Argentina
I am a huge fan of Torrontés, but this one hailed a different clone that carried notes of quince and white flowers.  A pretty wine with great acid structure.  Yum and yum.

Domaine Chiroulet "Terres Blanches" 2010, Cotes de Gascogne, France
Blend of Gros Manseng, Ugni Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc; stainless, lees stirring.  That alone makes me salivate for this wine.  A perfect harmony of stone fruits, limestone, apple skin and baby white flowers.  Well balanced wine with a supple texture that made me want to sing.  And trust me, that's saying something.

Domaine Francois Lamarche, Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2008, Burgundy, France
I don't get to drink Burgundy, ever.  I can't afford it and I don't try to pretend like I can.  But when I have a chance to try a few at a tasting - I jump at it.  Literally.  This one was gorgeous.  A feminine style with notes of clay, licorice, ripe black fruits, and purple flowers.  A full bodied Pinot Noir which is usually not my thing, but let's just say that its juicy fruits and firm structure component caused me to change teams for the day.

Cold Heaven Cellars Viognier, Le Bon Climat Vineyard 2009, Buellton, California
I love Viognier for two reasons:  it's sexy and it never goes out of style.  Terrior driven, Condrieu esque, this representation had great acidity and meyer lemon pulp bursting predominantly on the finish that kept on going.  Full of juicy yummy-ness and very food friendly.  Wish I had a bottle right now.

Le Cantorie Franciacorta Brut 2007, Lombardia, Italy
You didn't think I'd leave out Italy - did you?  What better wine to close out with than with Franciacorta. Franciacorta is Italy's answer to Champagne.  It is made in the same method as Champagne where it goes through second fermentation in the bottle.  The grape varietals usually consist of Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco.  In this bottling, you'll find 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Nero.  Candied pineapple, creamy caramel, baked phyllo dough, and chalk heaven enveloped into perfect effervescence.  Once you try Franciacorta, you'll question your next purchase of Champagne.

I look forward to 2012 and the greatness of art that it will bestow on me.  To all, Happy New Year and may your glass always be half full with great juice.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Notice: Humbling required

I could trash everyone and say it's their fault.  I could point fingers and be completely convinced that I was set up or that luck doesn't care to be on my side these days.  But I won't.  A good friend reminded me today of my past accomplishments and whether they show or not, I have to prove myself every time, every where and in every way.  Not just to others, but mainly to me.  This is how humbling occurs.

Ever since I was young, I have prided myself on organization.  I worked in corporate for nine years, in which time I learned a lot about balancing numbers and how to manage tech support.  I applied my organizational skills and as a result, I earned some status, despite having a non-accounting degree.  That made me proud, but I was miserable in the accounting world.  I knew the career I had chosen, although a well-paid one, was not for me.

After having my children, I ended up in the restaurant industry.  Definitely the most brutal industry out there.  There's no one-on-one, even though I take it upon myself to enforce it.  I am all about open communication and I like to know where improvements are needed.  I'll be honest, I am not very good at taking criticism, especially as a grown woman.  That is, a grown woman with an arrogant child's mind.  I never thought I'd say this, but I feel as if somehow I became cocky - I don't know how or when or what idea conceived such a foolish presumption, but it happened.

Last year, I worked for someone who told me I never made mistakes.  He told me I was good with numbers, working under stress and controlling money flow.  I prided myself on that because it is a result of my keen organizational skills.  I left that job, however, because I was bored.  I knew deep down they didn't want me to leave, but the challenge had died and I needed to move on.

Currently, I reside within an environment that has exposed me to crazy like I've never seen before.  I made changes in my life, dramatic ones, suspecting such chaos, but even those changes could not prepare me for what is currently happening.  Irony came knocking on my door last night and I was told, for the first time in my life, that my organizational skills were not up to par.  Pow - did that hurt.  I felt as if I was in a boxing match and even though I weighed more than my opponent, he beat me down to the ground in the first round.

In conclusion, I must move forward and focus.  Whether I disagree with the other or feel as if I am already, I must strive to improve my motion.  I can make my organizational skills surpass what I was capable of yesterday.  I can choose to say I can, rather than I can't.  And in the process of doing so, I will learn the most valuable lesson of all:  how to continually humble myself.  So the next time I come into the ring with my alleged opponent, I will be the one doing the knocking out.