Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Little Wine Review

The other night I popped over to North Beach to an art show where a friend of a friend - Richard Luckey Perri - was included in a show of 13 artists' work at the Live Worms Gallery on Grant Avenue. Talk about blast from the past - so bo-ho and not in the chic hip way that graces Allure Magazine et al. I'll refrain from going into details, just say that my friend and I amused ourselves immensely by creating background stories for the characters we saw (a writer's exercise I learned in Vagliagli lo these many years ago). When we tired of that amusement, we mosied down the street to Rose Pistola, an old favorite, where Sam, the wonderfully accommodating bartender, catered to my picky tastes.

First on the list - currently one of my favorite varietals, Nero D'Avola from Sicily. At $15 a glass I was extremely curious, since wines from Sicily are usually on the bargain side (as in you can buy three bottles for $15!). This was a 2004, Saia, Feudo Maccari. Lovely on the nose, all those rich dried earthy fruits, but so disappointing... no structure, completely flat:(

Next up was a 2006 Zilath blend (Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Carignane), Caslae Centro Corri, Lazio - which is from around Rome. At $8, I was eager to like it. Again, nice nose but lacking structure.

Following right behind, a 2005 Pino Nero, 'Pinay', Attilio Ghisolf, Langhe, Piemonte... these Italian wines are such a mouthful... At $10.50, it was extremely lovely, nothing to rave about, but quaffable.

And that's this little wine reviewers tuppence worth for the week:)

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Better Bail Out

I received this proposition from a friend. It makes perfect sense to me.

I'm against the $85,000,000, 000.00 bailout of AIG.
Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000, 000 to America in a "We Deserve It Dividend".
To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.
Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and
child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..
So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.
My Plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a "We Deserve It Dividend".
Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.
Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.
That sends $25,500,000, 000 right back to Uncle Sam.
But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.
What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college - it'll be there
Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car - create jobs
Invest in the market - capital drives growth
Pay for your family's medical insurance - health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.
If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy") economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.
If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!
As for AIG - liquidate it.
Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate.
Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.
Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.
Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."
But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!
How do you spell Economic Boom?
I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion
We Deserve It Dividend more than do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC
And remember, The "WDID" plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Acting Classes with Richard Harder

It's been decades since I signed up for an acting class at UC Berkeley Extension. That was a complete waste of $300+ since I chickened out after oh, I think it was the second class. Standing in front of my fellow students reciting Robbie Burn's Ode to a Mouse had me quaking in whatever expensive pumps I must have been wearing at the time. I resolved right then to remain behind the scenes and now the camera. So it is not without trepidation that I am planning to take Richard Harder's 8-week acting class that kicks off on October 4th http://www.offbroadwaywest.org/richardsActing.htm.

In the interests of disclosure, since James Dalessandro quit teaching the longest-running private screenwriting class in Northern California, there's been a bit of a hole in the work that I do, so Richard's going to get the benefit of my digital marketing skills to promote his class. However, that shouldn't bias you.

Having witnessed Richard work my young actor Kish ~ the next Will Smith! ~ I can truthfully say that I am looking forward to learning from Richard. He has studied with the top acting teachers in the U.S. including eight years as Jean Shelton's protege and master workshops with Stella Adler. If anyone can make an actress out of me, it will be Richard... so stay tuned to this blog for weekly updates. If nothing else, they should provide amusement.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Jazz Fest in New Olreans

And, just a little reminder of what New Orleans can be...

Ride through 9th Ward New Orleans

My friend Dave moved backed to New Orleans after Katrina and has been working there since to help restore the city. He's been in San Francisco for the past few weeks and was due to return to New Orleans on Monday. Obviously, that didn't happen. He's somewhat stranded here as in "needs work to pay the bills" and is putting his work out on the web to see whether he can garner any interest. As a former advertising Creative Director he's got great skills, but will be happy to resize banners if it brings in some moolah. This video is testament to his skills and his soul... Wow, it's like watching 9/11 all over again... Poor New Orleans... all those people... so sad. Let's make sure that the Republicans do not get another 8 years!!!