Just in case you don’t know what Burning Man is…here’s a post from my Art Predator blog with a little of my own Burning Man history…and an awesome video. Up next: Burning Man and wine!

art predator

This Burning Man video using the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros captures the joy, vitality and energy that is Burning Man. It encapsulates the art and the vibe, and more than anything, what it means and feels like to go “home.” For many Burners, or people who attend Burning Man, where they feel most at home at Burning Man–and with the friendly, accepting and accommodating people who live there.

I first discovered Burning Man in 1992, when I was in grad school at the University of Nevada Reno; then there were only 600 of us out in the Black Rock Desert. That year, by day many of us ventured to the Black Rock Hot Springs where we slathered on the mud and soaked in the sun. At sunset the night of the Burn on Sunday, the wind kicked up and we hid out in a…

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How to Celebrate Cabernet Day 2012

Personally, I can’t imagine a #Cabernet Day better than last year’s at the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert. I was joined at my Art Predator and Wine Predator camp in Kidsville by Jim Morris (aka Sonoma Wine Guy on Twitter) and Tony Fletcher (blogger, dj and author of several books on music and musicians including Keith Moon) plus author Mark Lorentzen aka Puma who always brings over $1000 worth of fine wine to Burning Man.

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Happy Bitch for a Rosy Afternoon


This is my friend Sophia Kidd. We’ve known each other about 20 years now, ever since I returned to Ventura and had a studio at Art City. She’s a poet, a curator currently active in the southwest China’s contemporary art scene, particularly that of time-based-art, a philosopher, a film buff, and she just spent the past three years in China getting her Masters on a very esoteric topic (yes, she wrote it in Chinese!)

And, as you can tell, she is one HAPPY BITCH!

So that’s why, when she came over yesterday so we could figure out the nuts and bolts on a performance event “dubword::GEIST” we’re curating with Steve Aguilar to be held at Art City on August 20 (for more see below), I popped the bottle cap on the bottle of Happy Bitch rose from Hudson Valley New York that I had chilling in the fridge. It’s a Continue reading

2011 Big House Birdman at the Beach with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy 2012

If it’s the first week of August, it’s time for the Ventura County Fair.

And that means Fair food and Fair entertainment including fireworks every night and music too! Last night we were on the Ferris Wheel when the fireworks went off; another highlight was a deep fried hot dog with a spiral of potato chips which my son and I were going to share but he polished off by himself!

This year, like most,

don’t tell anyone but

my family, friends and I ride our bikes down to the beach to enjoy the fair’s concert from the “cheap seats” –our bike seats or a bench on the beach!

That’s what I did on Saturday to see Joan Jett and that’s what a bunch of us did tonight for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Out there by the beach the sound isn’t too loud–a bonus as we’re not blowing out our eardrums and we can visit with each other. There’s also plenty of room to dance with views of the seashore!

Another bonus is we can bring our own food and drink. This year a group of us gathered for an informal light dinner along the bike path featuring local fresh olive bread, cheeses, humous, vegies, an arugula portabella feta salad, a couscous salad, and, the star of the show, raw oysters from the Jolly Oyster. Continue reading

2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in PDX: Wine Predator to Ignite!

It’s almost that time again–time for the annual Wine Bloggers Conference!

This year we’re meeting in Portland –close to the Willamette Valley home of Oregon’s justly famous pinot noir and pinot gris! I barely scratched the surface with my trip there last July– highlighted by my visit on my last night to Coleman Vineyard south and west of McMinnville (Gotta love Coleman’s Facebook about page which says: Think globally. Eat locally. Dress casually.) More on Coleman soon!

I’ve made the pilgrimage to the Wine Bloggers Conference a regular part of my wine, writing, and blogging education: I attended the inaugural conference in 2008 as well as 2009 in Sonoma, followed by 2010 in Walla Walla. I also attended the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon as a guest of Enoforum Wine.

I keep going back to the Wine Blogger Conferences because I learn so much about writing and wine–two of my favorite activities combined into one!! It’s amazing to try so many wines from so many regions in such a short time. And over the years I’ve made some wonderful friends as well as connections in the business.

This year in Portland, over 350 consumer and industry wine bloggers will gather on Thursday August 16 for a welcome by Oregon Wine Board. Highlights include speed tastings, a keynotes by Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm and Sideways novelist Rex Pickett, plus many sessions on topics related to wine and writing including IgniteWine! where I will be presenting on “Sex, Wine and the Semi-Colon.” I’m currently debating whether I should include real-life examples of typos or mechanical errors that I come across in wine blogs–but I know that will open mine up to criticism and I am sure there are a few mistakes around here too! What do you think? Is it a good idea or not?

For an example of a great IgniteWine presentation, check out the video above!

In the meantime, please subscribe (in the upper right hand corner) so you don’t miss a single drop!