Someone told me recently that my little hobbies are initiated by TV, and whatever the latest fad is. IE Poker, Wine, Politics, etc. When I trace everything back, I always find alternate reasons, but am I kidding myself?
I remember Poker started after I rewatched Rounders, then I found out there was a casino in driving distance. I first started with blackjack and baccarat, but learned that Poker is the only one that’s really mathematically beatable (and won’t have the casino on your butt like blackjack). All of a sudden, the World Poker Tour started on the Travel Channel, then all the Celebrity stuff soon followed. This all happened within 3 months of each other. Granted the WPT filmed already, but they didn’t air until after I started hitting the casinos, around this time. This can be verified looking at my Journal Archives from jan’03!
Then I repeated a food/cooking fad which I can’t remember whether it was big on TV. I always have food network as a backup TV channel, and have watched Good Eats religiously for a few years now. So I will fall into this hobby over and over again. Can’t decide if it’s gone through a big mainstream revival, although I do know FoodTV’s ratings are growing big time. That and Julia’s death may have recaptured a few “foodies” (food equivalent of trekkies)
Politics around the election, which I admit, was fueled by TV. I found a few radio shows that I liked, bought some books, felt like I learned alot. Talked politics with friends and did that whole bit. I really get into politics every now and then. It’s a repeating thing like food, I guess. I did find my political philosophies quite a while ago, and even turned a few people away from the evil party! Politics is just one of those things that’s always in the background.
Finally, my current obsession, Wine. This is one I can’t decide on. Everyone who is in the Wine world knows that the movie Sideways has had a huge effect. Pinot Noir sales have soared, Merlot sales have fallen. Reportedly, there are lots of people running around pretending to be experts with the vocabulary (as there were in the casinos when the World Poker Tour started) Question is…Am I one of these? Seeing as how I don’t like the beginners using the “popularized” vocabulary, for some reason, I don’t do this (Like the prevalence of such Poker terms as “gut-shot, cowboys, bullets, roll, blind-stealing) For some reason I feel like you have to earn the ability to use some vocabulary. I guess I’m just weird that way. Even though I dont think i’m one of those annoying beginner-pop-vocabulary-using posers, am I still one of these mainstream beginners in the case of the wine obsession because of the Sideways movie?
I looked back through my journal entries, chat logs, etc, and found a few notable references:
– 8-28-2003 – The 2nd Bouley experience…. Ah, I remember it well. Previously, I had gone to Bouley in Manhattan and wanted to go back and try the tasting menu with wine pairings. This was the day it happened. A definitly pivotal point with wine and me.
– 1-25-2004 – I ordered the Wine Fundamentals DVD from Amazon. I think this shows the more than casual “I like wine with food!” interest.
– 3-06-2004 – I chatted with a friend about Syrah, and how good the stuff was.
Between this and now, I bought around 2 bottles of wine about twice a month. Nothing serious, but was learning from little internet reading and far-between bottles.
Ok, that was to setup the pre-Sideways credentials, which are admittedly light!.
About a month ago (ok, exactly one month and 22 hours, 4-11-05,6am) I stopped smoking. A few days later, I drank some wine. A Drouhin Red Burgandy village wine. I actually tasted and could identify some of the subtle flavors that those “wacky” professional tasters are talking about! All this talk about “red cherry, acidity, etc” Previously, I was resigned to, “good or bad” because I never tasted those subtleties. So the not-smoking for a few days, and the excellent bottle of wine, in my mind, re-ignited my wine hobby. This also, happened to bond me to pinot noir, since it is the grape in Red Burgandy. I did see Sideways 3 months before this, but nothing changed for me during that time. After this, I really got into the whole obsession thing. I bought a wine fridge, a couple cases of wine, (some valuable Bordeaux from the 70s), magazines, books, radio podcasts even. Even one more development which will be in the next entry. So? Am I a part of the “Sideways effect”?