Okay, so here's some weekend notes...
Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival
Hmm.. you would think that any affair with the word wine in the title would be a fabulous time, right? Well, there were a few issues that didn't sit so well with me:
The admission price was $18... and that's what you got. Admission. Why not call it Temecula Valley Admission Festival - Balloons & Wine optional. To be fair, that price did include live music, but aside from a couple B-musicians (Oooh! Eddie Money! Wow! It's the former lead singer of Foreigner!) it was kind of like that Muzak in the elevator of a stuffy office building or that music when you're on hold and you think to yourself it would be so much better if it was just a silent hold so you could play your own music. Something like that. All of the balloons! and wine! were more moolah...
Then I discovered the fair organizers were practical jokers. Mike & I decided to shell out the money for the wine tasting and found one we really liked. What is the logical next step in this equation? "Let's buy a bottle or two!" or if you're like us, "A case!" I inquired into the purchase of said tasty beverage only to be shot down by the wine-tasting tyrant, "You'll have to come up to the winery to buy a bottle since we aren't allowed to sell it here." WTF? You can't sell WINE at a WINE FESTIVAL? I felt like pulling a Miles (from Sideways**) when he wants a full pour and the wine tasting dude won't give it to him, so he chugs the swill bucket. GO, GO, GO!
Aside from these irritations, it was a good time. (If your idea of a good time is being herded into a heavily guarded, enclosed area and getting shit-faced with a bunch of strangers.) Mike and I people-watched, tasted a bunch of different wines from the local vineyards, ate Fair Food - which is guaranteed to make you die a slow, agonizing, painful, coagulated death someday, but is oh-so-tasty - watched the "Balloon Glow" show and played around with the new digital camera. Yep, fun stuff.
The ties that bind... and gag
My brother and his family were in town this weekend for a surprise visit. It's always good to see them - it doesn't happen very often. For one, they just bought a house in Utah and I will probably BURST INTO FLAMES if I step one foot across that state line. So, I look forward to our twice-a-year visits from them since now that he is grown up he is no longer a pain in the butt and I actually enjoy hanging out with him. I was also very happy to discover that my Utah Niece is finally as cute as my California Niece (daughter of my brother who lives locally). I was worried for awhile that I was going to favor Cute-One over Not-as-cute-one , but since Utah niece caught up, I can continue to spoil them both equally.
So, my dad made a life-altering decision this past weekend and decided to shave. This is monumental only because for as long as I can remember, he has had some kind of beard/goatee/facial hair covering no less than one third of his face. All the men in my family are follically challenged, so I believe this was some sort of over-compensation for that trend. Anyway, he was bald on top for awhile, but still had some hair around the edges and the full beard going-on. Then he decided to shave his whole head, but kept the whole beard thing. Now, the only hair he has left north of his neck is his eyebrows. He's still stunningly handsome (where do you think I get my good-lucks?) but the verdict is still out on the whole naked-face thing.
I finally got to watch Sideways (that's where the ** comes in since it's all so fresh in my mind) and am happy to report that I finally understand the whole "... alright, but I'm not drinking any fucking Merlot!" reference. I thought it was a great movie because:
- Sandra Oh is friggin' HOT, HOT, HOT!!! if not slightly mental when enraged;
- the arm out of the car window scene: totally cool;
- the exchange between Maya & Miles on the porch was so intimate and haunting and rich that I wanted to put a straw in a bottle of pinot and suck it down on the spot (wait! when do I NOT want to do this??);
- Jack was basically a dick and Miles was a neurotic pushover. I was slightly mad/amused when Jack got no other forms of comeuppance besides the broken nose;
- when Miles steals Jack's wallet back from the waitress/husband's house and the husband comes out buck nekkid and not only jiggles and bounces all over the place, but also gets smooshed up against Mile's car - that scene is permanently burned into my brain. Actually, the part where the couple is in bed is pretty searing too;
- when Miles is drinking the '61 in the diner out of a styrofoam cup. I loved the furtive glance he gave before pouring himself another. While we may not have all enjoyed a bottle of that caliber, I know I've totally given the ole lookout before consuming my bootlegged alcohol;
- where/how it ends. It was a sometimes painful journey to watch, what with Jack being such an ass and Miles so depressed and anxious all the time. But there were some great one-liners and then you get to the end and wise, calm, normal Maya calls and we see an emboldened Miles knocking on the door - a door of opportunity.. of possibility... of future??
Alright already.. I've spouted on about enough, I'll go before you kick me out... OVER & OUT!