Thursday, January 31, 2008

The 'Dome

I know I haven't blooged* in like 10 years, so I guess I'll blog about something that happened weeks ago. I mean, why blog about the present when you can blog about the past?

(This post was inspired by Funk Master P and his trip to the Tower in Sacto. Shout out.)
How awesome are people? A few weeks ago, at the Cinedome in Napa (yes, it's truly a dome), Saturday nights = 13-year-old-annoying-brats-and-their-teeny-boyfriends-nights. They were typical obnoxious teens with no where else to go. (I truly believe this - it's Napa. A lot like Marin where I grew up. Nothing to do. Nothing.) The 'dome is circa 1968, and since Napa spends no money on anything that locals might enjoy, only catering to tourists, it's exactly the same as it used to be, only the prices have increased tenfold. We decided to go see PS I Love You on a whim, so we got there a bit late. Late on a Saturday night at the 'dome = FIRST ROW. It sucked. The first row, as you know, is the absolute worst possible place to be in a theater. I mean why did they even make those, it's not like you can actually SEE the movie, you get seasick during any parts that are landscape-y or aerial, and your neck hurts constantly. What is the POINT? My rant means that there are no stadium seats and the movies cost a lot. Ok thank you, I'll move on. The theater was filled with Britney Spears-loving teenagers, sprinkled around the room in random empty seats. They talked on their cell phones. They got up and down up and down up and down. They talked. They shook armrests and kicked seatbacks. There was a bit of yelling at these children, though none of us took the initiative to have them kicked out. Only at the very end did my friend get her true jab in.......we're about to leave and were surrounded by teeny boppers, when my friend (whose name shall not be released for privacy purposes) says:

"When you grow up you're going to realize how STUPID you look."

At that point, we needed to LEAVE, so we walked out and went to Napa Bowl for a drink and some pool. We needed to be with people our own age, or at least 35 years our senior.

Cheers to the 'dome!

*I always typo "blogged" as "blooged" so I thought I'd leave it. It's a funny word.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back to the Biz

I just got home from a wine business seminar at COPIA. It was a general overview of the industry trends, what's hot/what's not, off-premise/on-premise focus, and general industry numbers. I never thought data would interest me, but I guess it helps that the data is about something I love!

NOTE: The next part is commentary on the wine business. It'll be very worky.

Guess what one heavily covered topic was? Yep - Millenials. Almost exactly one year since I started in the wine biz, this trend of younger consumers (born 1977 - 1994) with disposable income is leading the charge in wine consumption both in dollars and in units. You would think, given this information, that there would be more wines targeted to these consumers, myself being one of them. Speaking as a consumer, there is a lack of focus in the target price point - $10-15, with wines from all over the world and wines that are a single SKU. I love trying new things, but the quality has to pull me back as a loyal-ish customer, not just the price or name.

I'm thinking I should start a winery where the focus is Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Cab. I would make a KILLING. These varietals are hot, and they are varietals that, Cab probably being the exception here, can play to the more adventurous wine drinker, the typical millenial. They can have interesting labels, fun stories, viral marketing, entertaining yet educational blogs, and engaging websites. Anyone want to play venture capitalist for me?

As much as it seems like the market is ridiculously saturated with wine (just walk into any Safeway), there are huge holes that are just begging to be filled with wines in that price point in those varietals. The big wineries capture the majority of the market in the $1-$9 segment, and the small wineries easily capture some of the $20-$100 market. Where does that leave the millenials, the folks looking for those $10-$15 wines, the ones who are adventurous and curious and willing to try new things? This powerful group of 21-30 years olds use the internet to research everything, including wine. They trust the word of mouth recommendations from their friends, funny and informative guys like Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine TV, wine blogs, and tastings. They have yet to be fully tapped as a wine consuming group, and we in the wine biz need to start cashing in on their curiosity to try new wines and eagerness to learn.

Coming from the tech world into the wine world, I knew I'd have to make adjustments. This industry is not on any cutting edge, and trying to force this industry into thinking in a new way, into considering the web as a viable place to do business or even just to reach consumers, will not happen overnight. It probably won't happen until the bubble has burst. I am hoping that this data on millenials and hot varietals, both qualitative and quantitative, will seep into the presentations to winery CEOs, retailers, and restaurants, and will creep into the vocabulary of sale forces and wine biz leaders. Just these two things - just two things! - can change the marketplace, the profitability and the direction of established wineries.

Hope that all made a little sense. Word to the millenials.

Out of curiosity - what do you buy? Are you loyal or adventurous?

Cheers to the wine biz - may it live long and prosper!

PS (you know how much I love these) - One of my New Year's resolutions, besides losing weight of course, is to try new wines. I'm sure Napa has a group of tasters but since I have yet to meet anyone, it's time for me to taste and taste, see what's out there, live up to my generation's stereotype. Bring it on.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Water is Back, Life is Good.

On Wednesday morning, after a Friday of showering at the gym, a Monday of showering at work, and a Tuesday of showering at the gym, along with trips to Target to use the little girls' room, my water was restored. Losing water is just like flipping on light switches, the TV, the radio, the microwave, and the computer when the power is out. I turned on the faucet. I almost went to the bathroom many times. I had to be creative when brushing my teeth. It was fun for an evening, felt like camping inside. Yeah, the novelty wears off pretty quickly when you need to pee.

On another note, this past weekend I took my family (aka the clan) to Bear Valley for a ski weekend! My mom hates the snow, so I was sure to get a house with a nice heater and a fireplace that she could enjoy while we hit the slopes. By "hit the slopes" I mean yellow-slow-zone-designated-bunny-slopes for me. On Friday afternoon, I brushed the two-years of dust off my board and put it in my new Yakima ski rack on the burly yet sleek Murano, Enrique. I do have to say that Enrique was pretty stoked to hit some snow, being AWD and all. We headed up in separate cars and met at the house. 1972 here we come....the decor was a tad outdated but the house was comfortable overall. We played some crazy rounds of Cranium and Taboo, hung out and talked, and played in the snow. It was a great weekend with the clan. I'll post a video tomorrow of my dad stuck in snow - it's rad.

Cheers to water and boarding! (Uncheers to the lift)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Today I got home from work. I put on a pot of water from the kitchen faucet and fired up the stove. I boiled that water and put in pasta. I settled in a little. I threw in a load of laundry, aka I put dirty clothes into the washing machine that washes them with water. I ate my pasta. I packed some for the snow weekend. I used the ladies' room. The toilet flushed oddly. I went to wash my hands. There was a dribble of water. I ran into the kitchen. A dribble then nothing. Nothing. No water. No water! I went outside to the pump house - the needle read 1. I don't exactly know what that means technically, but I can only deduce that it means I have no water. I flipped all the circuit breakers. No water. I tried every faucet 'cause, ya know, one might have a bit of water left. No water. Now that I know I can't go to the bathroom, I really have to go.

Why is it called a WELL? I'm not WELL - I HAVE NO WATER.

There will be no Cheers today.

Word to the Blogworld.

You know you've made it when you're able to do this:

I haven't quite made it yet. I plan on practicing my newfound gang sign for blogs (provided by the Swimster) so that I can be as cool as this guy. When I perfect it, I'll be sure to show the world.

Cheers to blog representin'!

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Day Adventure

After a hard night out on New Year's Eve, Meggie and I slept until 2pm on New Year's Day (hey, we're allowed), then finally got up, moved all the blankets to the couch, and posted it there all day. Around 7:30pm or so, only about 5.5 hours after getting out of bed, Meggie needed to go home and get prepped mentally to go back to work on Wednesday. I'd been off of work for a good solid eleven days, and my mental prep was pretty intense: I said bye to Meggie, locked the door, got back into my cocoon of blankets on the couch, and ate bread while watching yet another Law & Order. Around 8:30, "So Whatcha Want" was blaring out of my phone, signaling that one of my good friends was calling. Why, it was Meggie!

Me: "Hiya! Are you home?"
Meggie: {laughing hysterically}
Me: "What? I can't understand you? What's so funny!?"
Meggie: {laughing hysterically}
Me: "Wait, what?"
Meggie: "We forgot to get your car!!!!"

My heart dropped. My shoulders sank. I thought - you have got to be kidding me. Then I started laughing hysterically along with her. My first words to Meggie when we woke up were - "We have to remember to get my car." Being the planner that I am, I instantly debated what to do...I could call a cab. I could call friends. I could wait until tomorrow and just stay warm on the couch. I texted a couple of friends to no avail, then put on my new ski socks, a sweater, a beanie, and my snow jacket and just started walking. Yep, like Forrest Gump.

Here are some photos from my 4.3 mile trek from my house to Skankhouse...with commentary of course...

My new ski cute and argyle-y. It was cold out there...

This was at the walkway of an older building...not sure what the business was, I didn't see a sign. Thought this was one of the coolest things I've seen in a while though! I'll have to go back with my better camera.

Looking down Soscol. A loooooong ways to go.
I will eat breakfast here sometime.

Always wanted to shoot this building too. Another on my list to shoot with the the fancier camera.

Hm....Seventh Street. Never even noticed there was a Seventh Street.

Lookie here - Sixth Street. Only walked a block, but my ears are frozen despite the beanie and my fingers are numb.

Another awesome sign....fancier camera is missing out.

The Depot. I wish it was still a place to shake it. Now it's a Lobster Shack. Not quite as fun.

Closer, if only by a few blocks.

Ah, the First Street bridge. Hang a left, over the bridge, and right on Main

I love Christmas lights.

Someone's foot is really cold. Another New Year's Eve debacle.

"I'm almost there! Legs - keep movin! Oh no...what if they towed my car?"

TAAAA DAAAAAAHHHHH! A single light shining from above, angels singing, Enrique welcoming me.

Cheers to new adventures and getting some exercise!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Heart Post Scripts

PS - Happy New Year
PPS - Happy Christmas last week
PPPS - I love post scripts. A lot.

The Red Stripes

I have this really great story about New Year's Day but you'll have to wait a day for that as I haven't yet downloaded the pictures from the evening to spice up that entry.

What I do have to write about is something that came up on New Year's Eve. Meggie and I were standing at the bar, just talking. Talking the way people do. It's New Year's Eve, it's starting out slowly, but I'm with Meggie and we always have fun. So we're chatting when I completely interrupt her to comment on the fact that a driver's license with a red stripe lands on the bar. A red stripe. A red stripe means that the person who tossed that license onto the bar is a recent 21-year-old. RECENT. As in not 8.5 years ago like me. My license with the red stripe is hanging out somewhere in San Francisco without me, probably having the time of its life at whatever bar I dropped it at. I loved that license. The photo of me as a 16 year-old, beaming with my newfound legal driving capabilities, was lost forever. When I finally got my new license, I had taken a bad bad photo and the red stripe was gone. They also upped my weight when I didn't ask them to but that's a story for another time. Right now, I'm lamenting my Red Stripe License.

Cheers to Red Stripe Licenses. This one gets no exclamation point because I'm going to be 30 this year, and the next time I'll see a Red Stripe License my kid will have one. Ouchie.