Saturday, March 24, 2007


I finished teaching my latest semester of wine classes last week, and I'm a little sorry that it's over. It's a pain, to be honest, because it actually takes a decent amount of prep before each week's class - still, I'm sad they're finished. Aside from the refresher course that I get from teaching the class, and the wine tasting of course, it's nice to stand in front of a room of people who pay to listen to me jabber on for two and a half hours every night... even my wife's eyes glaze over after five minutes, so apparently, only people who don't know me find me entertaining... strange...
Another bonus is that it usually reminds me to check on our makeshift wine cellar, which I don't do all that often (what with the two kids and all). Every time I go down there, I kick myself for not taking stock more often. There are a few things that will be ready to drink soon, and more than a few that I moved to one corner so I wouldn't forget about them before they started to go downhill... but most importantly, there are the ones that I love to see again.
The first Barolo I ever had was a 1992 Villadoria - in the back yard of our apartment in philly on a warm spring day before we were married, Sara was wearing a black tank top, we were sitting on our white plastic patio furniture & everything was carefree and perfect - and we have some of them downstairs now... a Villadoria, Viberti, Marchesi, and Giacosa to name a few. There is a '69 Grumello and a '71 Valpolicella that I lugged down a looooong hill in Orvieto along with 10 other bottles - a feat which left me sore for days (and I think might have made my right leg a little shorter). A Pine Ridge Andrus Reserve that is worth more than my life - a wine I first had while I was talking about it to a class... I recommended it to someone as something they should consider for a private wine tasting in their home because I knew it was good and this was the only chance I'd be able to taste it - they went for it, and bought me an extra bottle to boot. So there I was, describing (in detail, in front of 30 tipsy women) the wine I had never tasted, when I finally got to have my first sip, and remembered why I love doing this... black cherry, currant and chocolate. Perfect.
There are 1994 Vintage Calem and a 2003 Fonseca Ports, which will both be perfect when Sam and Lily are in college and we have a moment to ourselves, and probably even better when they have kids of their own and we can giggle at them making the same mistakes we did... and on and on it goes... Beaux Freres, Chateau Laforge, Talbot, Beychevelle... each one tagged, gathering dust and the occasional crumb of masonry from the basement wall. Each one with their own little story, waiting for just the right day to make their way upstairs.
On Friday, with a sushi-boat-to-go waiting upstairs, I found a Saisons Des Vins L'ete that I bought in California a few years ago... and even though I feel like we are light years away from that sunny, carefree backyard in philly... for a minute or two all was right with the world. Things around here seem to change faster than I can keep track of, and I don't remember all of the twists and turns that brought us to this house with a four year old artist in residence and a two year old princess... and some of the wines I don't ever remember seeing before, but I still have some of the same shoes, some of the same dreams, and little reminders of who I used to be sitting around the house. Turns out, it helps to remember and appreciate what you have, downstairs and upstairs, even if I can't remember exactly how they got there in the first place...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nothing Gold Can Stay, Ponyboy

Odd week - happy, sad, and nerve-wracking things happening over here. I'll skip the last two, just for blog's sake, and mention the good one. Finally came to terms a bit this week with the whole leaving-the-catholic-church thing. To be honest, I'm ashamed to say it wasn't really the biggest deal, not really a big church guy... It did give me pause, however, to admit to myself (and here) that for now, those days are over for me. Faith, my version of it anyway, has remained unchanged.... and for the moment I have left behind what was growing into a seething anger at the politics, hypocrisy, blah, blah, blah.. sure you don't want to read this. Suffice to say, it took a while to slough off the hostility (do I sound too angry?) and move on. So the small part of me that pays attention to these things is at peace for the first time in a while - and thinking for some odd reason of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep". Makes sense to me, and this blog is free, so you'll have to deal with it.
Ok, short little list for my sister - who has blogged these sort of lists before, and is probably bored out of her mind right now - things I have said (since I've had children) that I never imagined I would have said... None of these, by the way, are made up...
1. Why is there a Llama in the refrigerator?
2. You won't eat anything I cook, but you'll eat dried corn with duck shit on it?
3. Will you stop trying to pick my nose?
4. What are you doing with your penis?
5. and the best from today, sure to become a classic, "can I use this thermometer, or has it been in someone's ass?"

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Google Me, It Tickles

I have this thing attached to my blog, for those of you who don't know, called a tracker. It doesn't do much of anything except show me a list of cities that have logged on to ticklecookbreathe, and the date and time they have visited. I put it on there just for funzies, and because I was curious about the amount of traffic I was getting. For the last six months or so I've been checking it every couple of days, and for the most part, I can identify who was peeking in... except for the occasional visit from Salt Lake City or Guam.
After the last post though, things have exploded. I don't know whether it was the Kopi Luwak or Alpha Gamma Civet references, or just the 'crap' joke - but something or other was just the right Google search term to get this blog hummin'. In the past week or so I've been getting hits from all over the country, as well as hit from Santiago, Fujian, Burnaby, Sydney, Shanxi, Barcelona, Rome, and on and on...
So before I write another post let me just assure my faithful followers, I will never post breaking news about Paris Hilton... as a matter of fact, I'll never include the name Paris Hilton in my blog just to get hits, from the name Paris Hilton. As a matter of fact, if Paris Hilton and Britney Spears just happen to drop by to discuss a new sex tape, Brad and Angelina pop in for some Kopi Luwak, or Patrick Dempsey and Oprah need to use my internet connection to search for some Cindy Margolis info - I probably won't mention it. It's just a cheap way to get hits, mentioning Paris Hilton (or Nicole Richie for that matter) over and over just for the sake of writing the name Paris Hilton.
I'll also be true to the art of blogging by not endorsing any products just to profit from your kind attention to my site. For example, I have always been a big supporter of Dulcolax brand laxatives. Personally, I don't use it that often, but I'm glad to know that it is in my medicine cabinet - so on those days when I'm just not feeling particularly regular and I want a stimulant laxative that is gentle yet effective, I know I can rely on Dulcolax brand laxative (the worldwide number 1 selling overnight laxative) to provide me with comfortable relief by the time I wake up the next morning - and with no chalky aftertaste! As a matter of fact, I'm sure if Paris Hilton ever ate anything, she would probably choose Dulcolax brand laxatives to get it out of her system as soon as possible - it's that good. I wouldn't endorse them though, cause that would be wrong... but you're welcome to learn more about this wonderful product yourself by visiting for more information.
To sum up, I'm glad you're here. It satisfies my gigantic ego, and helps me numb the pain of my countless insecurities to know that you are visiting me for me - and not just news about naked celebrities.... or just because you Googled the name Paris Hilton.... or Dulcolax....
Paris Hilton Paris Hilton Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton Paris Hilton Paris Hilton
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