31 August 2012

Altos de Tamaron 2009

I'd had the bottle of Altos de Tamaron 2009 Ribera del Duero for nearly a year, and finally got around to opening it.  It was an exceptionally rewarding bottle.  My enjoyment of Spanish wines is great and growing greater still, but that said, I so rarely grab a bottle when at the store simply because I am not as familiar with them, and with a limited amount of money for bottles, one tends to go with what one is certain to enjoy.

The Ribera del Duero is perhaps my favorite Spanish appellation right now, and the Altos was a fine example of it.  It was a deep maroon color, with a heavier body than I was expecting that gave the wine a sense of heft and dignity.

The nose was mild but spicy, quite enticing.  The taste was powerfully fruity and flowed smoothly into a mellow oak flavor, finishing crisply.  Upon reflection the finish of the wine was perhaps not as good as it could have been, seeming a little bit swift; but it was enjoyable while it lasted.

I shared the bottle with a friend who also found the wine very enjoyable.  It's an affordable bottle that I will no doubt look for again soon.

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Books: Waiting for Gathering Blue from the library; meanwhile, I'm reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Bottles: The above.

Writing: Today I finished Chapter 9 of the fourth draft.  I'm not progressing as quickly as I'd like, but I am in fact progressing at a fair pace, so as usual I think I set expectations for myself too high.  Either way I'm going to keep at it and hopefully get a bit quicker as I get further along.

Guitar: Finishing up "On an Island," looking at "Dogs" once more now that I'm a bit better at playing.

06 August 2012

Slouching Towards Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest by Sally Koslow

I noticed this book in an issue of Scientific American a while back, and the book finally came up in my reading list.  The book is written by a mother of two "adultescents" - children aged 21-34 (or something like that - can't remember the exact age) and examines the all-too-frequent phenomena of people of that generation (which also includes me) having trouble finding and keeping jobs, establishing permanent relationships, being forced or choosing to move back home with their parents, and more.

Having graduated from college in 2006, and going to film school from 2007-2008, I finished school right in the middle of the largest recession in recent memory, as did many others my age, so one of the things I found of most value in the book was simply the many stories like mine of finishing school only to find that there were no opportunities.  It was sad, but reassuring, to read other stories like mine.

Koslow, a journalist for many years, did a great job delving into the psychology of adultescents, examining them in a light that was critical and yet neither condescending nor judgmental.  She was quick to point out their virtues, yet also quite willing to point out their flaws.  Her basic premise seemed to me to be that a confluence of factors - senses of entitlement, a poor job market, a youth that valued self-esteem over realism, parental enablers - has led many adultescents to spend many of their post-graduation years finding themselves, traveling the world when they can't find jobs at home, and constantly giving up what they have in the search of something better and more fulfilling, whether it be in a job or in a relationship.

Sad though it is, I think Koslow's observations were, while not universal, certainly accurate.  I recognized traits of myself, as well as others, in the stories she told, as well as traits of my parents in her description of Baby-Boomers, all of whom desperately wanted their children to have better lives than they did, but many of whom instilled a strange sense of easy money and unlimited self-worth in their children rather than work ethic and regular, ordinary life skills.

Slouching Toward Adulthood was a great read.  It was insightful, but even more so, it was a comfort: to know that my problems weren't unique helped me a great deal in feeling that I wasn't such a failure, and gave me hope that the future isn't so bleak yet.

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Books: The above.  Next comes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and also Volume 2 of Echoes of All Our Conversations.

Bottles: Several bottles consumed at a wine tasting: Toad Hollow 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay from Mendocino; De Loach 2010 Chardonnay Russian River Valley; Dashe Cellars 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; and Chappellet 2008 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

Writing: The next rewrite begins!

Guitar: Looking at "On an Island."