Reaching into the well: I'm running out of ink

"I'll take the penis mightier for $500, Trebek!"

"That's 'THE PEN IS MIGHTIER', Mr. Connery."


It went something like that.

Celebrity Jeopardy. One of my all-time favourite comedy skits of all-time. It's so hilarious to me, it made the all-time of all-time.

That's right, I'm awake. But I'm not so sure if I'm woke. I digress.

Before I started this blog, I thought about developing an app where you could taste a wine and then immediately lick the screen of your cell phone and upload the taste of it to the app. Then, somebody else halfway around the world could look up a wine, check out all the people who have tasted it, pull up their licks, and then lick their screen to taste the wine-stained tongue of the person who uploaded their taste of the wine.

Bright fuckin' idea. I know. Anyway.

We ran into problems with the technology. And then we ran out of money. Alas, we're stuck here with the pen.

And it's becoming mightier by the moment. Or is it?

In many ways, the pen is all we've got. The pen writes down a point score. The pen writes down a tasting note. The pen records information of site, soil, climate, and weather. The pen gets creative and tells a story.

But, the pen doth have its limits, I do lament. What could possibly replace the experience of sitting across from someone with bottle open and wine a-flowing? Even a video, grainy or with a great deal of sheen, moving at what appears to be a speed of at least 36 frames per second faster than the eye, cannot convey taste and smell. That's hopefully the most nerdy and esoteric thing I've written on this blog, and it has to do with cameras, not wine. Hopefully.

The pen, used well, can certainly convey excitement, passion, tension, curiosity, and a host of other emotions and states. But, you know, I'm no Dan Brown, and this ain't no disco.

It ain't no country club, either.

This is LA (my blog). And all I wanna do is have some fun. And drink some half-decent wine.

I should be the master of this. I mean, I am the one up here in the tower, shouting down at all "you people," doing my damnedest to throw some shit at the wall that will stick.

But everyone goes south, every now and then. Looking at you, Billy Joel.

And that's the funny thing. For me, even though it's hardly been a month, I am currently experiencing broken record fatigue. No, this is not a Seinfeldism. It's when you harp on something so much, you sound and feel like a broken record, and you get tired of listening to yourself.

Having said that, what the hell have I been harping on? Off the top of my head, something along these lines:

•People who want to learn about wine need to get out of their own way.

•To get out of their own way, people who want to learn about wine need to make the leap from "liking" wine to "understanding" wine.

•Understanding wine can only occur once a person completely accepts the flavours and elements of the wine at hand and becomes obsessed with tracing them back to their source via voracious reading and through asking stupid questions to other people until the questions aren't so stupid anymore. Then they do it again.

•Wine education and certification systems can only take you so far. You can do better on your own. To do this, you should be obsessive and incredibly open-minded.

•People's ideas about themselves and external things are terribly flimsy and can change on a dime. How many times have you been dragged to a show or to a party that you didn't want to go to and you ended up having a great time? Never? Oh, bother.

•You can change your feelings on something without someone tricking you into doing it. You can frame your own experience based on what you focus on in the moment.

•The "Basics" are everything. Think about it.

•It depends. Part 1 of every answer to every question.

•There is a universe on either side of a bottle of wine getting into your hands, and what happens when the cork is pulled. Or the topped twisted off. Or the glass stopper removed. Or the pop-top popped. Or the cap cracked off. Or the bottle sabred. Two universes converge at that moment. Your life is split in two. Life before this wine, and life after this wine. Each one matters on your journey.

•Our memories suck. Take a picture of every bottle.

•Certify yourself. Nobody else can do it for you.

•If you go to a new place, don't forget to drink the local wine.

•Wine is people, and people are wine. Always remember that.

•The only problem with wine is that somebody has to drink it. It doesn't exist in a vacuum.

•Try it with a straw once in a while.

•Wine tastes good on skin.

•The relief of a cold beer in wine country after a hot day of tasting wine is ironic.

•There is something to appreciate in every wine, no matter how despicable it might seem. It is up to you to see that thing. It might not always involve the wine itself, but what it says about the world from which it originated.

•Practicing your sense of humour and your ability to understand people will have as great an impact on your experience in wine as anything else you will learn about it.

•Steven, are you finished yet?

I think I should switch to making movies. Maybe we'll start with videos. Is that a hint? And where's Larry David when I need him to produce these capers?

The penis mightier for $500, Trebek.

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