Getting Past the Color Barrier

Color...is it always about black and white? No, of course not. Often, it's about red, white and pink.

I'm talking about wine, of course.

With the warmth of summer upon us, it's the time of year that fervent red wine drinkers hate to acknowledge--it's just too hot to drink red wine. As the seasons change, so does the palate, but staunch red wine drinkers are often loath to abandon their favorite wines to drink varietals that they largely believe to be "less than."

Many men I know will switch to vodka at this time of year, unable to get past the mental barrier of what they consider to be girly white wines. Frankly, they're scarred from years of watching their mothers and grandmothers drink that horrid concoction known as the wine spritzer

Considering that this particular recipe actually recommends adding peach schnapps or even--shudder--orange soda makes it clear why a manly Cab drinker would eschew the whites.

But if you're a person who likes the tannic taste of big reds, all is not lost. At their core, these wines lean toward the dry side. And there are plenty of white varietals that will give you a sense of satisfaction in the heat of summer.

If you live in a place with a lot of humidity, you will definitely appreciate the dry whites of Spain and Italy. These winemakers understand warm weather, and their crisp, clean offerings are great for a day out on the boat, at the beach, or a muggy backyard picnic.

From Spain, viura is the Spanish wine world's answer to the gin and tonic. The overall tone is dry and crisp, with a clean finish that offers faint hints of lime. Muy delicioso!

Italy brings us its fantastic world of pinot grigio. Unlike the viura wines, which tend to be fairly consistent in their flavor, pinot grigio does need a little more explanation, and perhaps exploration.

Pinot grigio tends to fall into three quality categories. At the lowest (and cheapest) end, the wine will be, again, dry and crisp with a slight hint of almond in the finish. As the wine increases in quality and price, the fruit flavors become more evident.

Personally, the driest, cheapest, pinot grigio is my favorite type. So if you lean toward drier wines that don't overwhelm your palate with a lot of fruit, you're going to want the cheap Italian pinot grigio. Best of all, you can find these bottles in nearly every region of the country for around $7 per bottle.

I emphasize Italian because California's version is just such a fruit-bomb in comparison. The big difference between Californian wines and their European cousins is that California's versions will always have a bigger body. Because of this, devotees of Caifornia chardonnay, for instance, often find the French chardonnay to be too watery for their tastes.

Conversely, California's pinot grigios have so much fruit in them that they start to taste like sauvignon blanc. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it can really be too much peach, pear, and apple for me, particularly when I'm in a climate that has a lot of humidity. All that fruit becomes a little chewy and my taste buds go into overload when all they want is a crisp and quenching sensation.

But what if you're sharing a bottle with someone, and one person prefers fruit and the other likes dry and crisp? Head to South Africa. The wines of this region have been a staple in lands like Holland, but are relatively new to the States. Until recently, they were almost impossible to find, which is really a shame.

South African wines are still finding their place at American tables. But if you need a compromise wine, as is often the case when sharing a bottle, their blends can't be beat. The South Africans tend to produce blends that combine every grape in the field, offering a great middle-of-the road option--light fruit, medium body, nice clean finish.

Many wine drinkers are adamant in their dedication to one varietal, producer, or even color of wine. But the beauty of the grape lies in its nuance. There is truly something for everyone out there, in hidden bottles that you may have never considered. Breaking out of the rut will always be a hit-or-miss proposition. Fortunately, the fun of wine drinking sometimes comes from the fact that even a wine not necessarily suited to your palate will taste just fine at the bottom of the glass!


Is Anyone Surprised?

Below the Crowd pointed out that Casey Serin and "I Am Facing Foreclosure" are back online. And yet, I just don't think anyone is going to be surprised.

Casey Serin has never been able to live up to the terms of a contract, apparently even one with his wife and family. I imagine the past week has been an emotionally draining one for Casey Serin, mustering up his best con artist (or, as T prefers, con finger painter) ways to convince Galina and the Serin Family that he must, MUST get back online.

After all, what will the camera crew from Intervention have to tape for b-roll if Casey Serin isn't blogging?

Sweet media stories being printed without mention of Casey Serin, the blogosphere continuing along its path without his voice to be heard...all of this must have been far too much for Casey Serin.

The only thing that amazes me are the cheerleaders and supporters who defend the Snowflake as he repeatedly proves their trust and affections to be woefully misplaced.

I just wonder if, in all of the wrangling that had to take place for Casey Serin to get access to his shiny toys again, he admitted to his family that he was sneaking online late at night?

Or better yet, if Serin dad Aleskey knows that Mama Serin is Casey's guarantor for the shady shell corp?


Casey Serin in "Whipped" Magazine

A prominent Casey Serin Hater sent this my way. It's a fitting tribute to include some Casey Serin paraphernalia here, since the little bugger just can't stop surfing the blogs. I happened to notice him on these pages at around 1:30 last night, and I wonder if he was sneaking in some internet addiction after Galina Serin and Yulia Suprun had gone to bed.

And that thought makes this image that more fitting.

Thank you to the individual who sent this along. Said Hater wishes to remain anonymous regarding the artwork, although I think it's worthy of some high praise. I think my favorite headline is "How to Pretend You Care...When You Can't Because You're a Sociopath."

Nicely done.

Maybe next month's edition of "Whipped" Magazine will cover "When You Fall Down While Learning to Walk," or "Short-Pants! Summer Fashions for the Man-Child!"

Slightly off-topic, but if anyone knows how to post this in a better format, without Blogger condensing it so drastically, I'd love to know!


Good Riddance

Akubi wanted me to write something about Casey Serin's final Friday night fraudcast. So after the obligatory jogging and yoga, I spent the afternoon listening to the replay.

I've been a bit surprised that I haven't really been able to muster any feelings one way or the other about Casey Serin's disappearance into the ether. I think this comes, in large part, from just not believing a damn thing that comes from Casey Serin or his "I Am Facing Foreclosure" site.

As I said to Schnapps earlier this morning (and, I later learned, was reflected in many callers' attitudes as well) that by changing out the mainpage, Casey Serin is still in fact blogging.

And I just don't believe that he'll be able to cut his losses so easily. Galina may have taken his shiny tech toys away from him by confiscating the cell and laptop, but he's obviously finding ways around this, with or without Galina's slack consent.

My complete disinterest in the demise of "I Am Facing Foreclosure" was washed away by listening to yet another round of Casey Serin playing the victim on his chat show. Perhaps because I actively avoid spending any great deal of time with slack-jawed imbeciles, I've just never seen someone who so completely and thoroughly misses the point every flipping time.

Casey Serin's false wisdom comes out straight away, with his assessment that "Realtors are eager to show vacant homes." In fact, the opposite is true largely because, without the feel-good elements of living spaces defined for them, most buyers are unable to immediately relate to the space.

A simple Google search reveals real estate agents all over the country discussing the challenges of selling vacant homes. Not to mention that an entire peripheral industry that has sprouted to alleviate the burdens of selling vacant homes.

Casey Serin then makes it clear that simple facts still elude him. When asked about his job hunt, he replies that he's basically still mining his Inbox for gold, rather than making any outside effort for employment. When it is pointed out to him that the contract with Galina stipulates that he look for a job as soon as IAFF goes down, he says "If the contract says that and I broke it, then that's your opinion."

No, asshole, it's not an opinion. Facts are facts. The dictionary reminds us that a "fact" is "something that has actual existence." A fact exists at face value. The process of query and debate ends upon conclusion that something is indeed factual.

Casey Serin tells the world that "I resent and hate that it worked out his way," clearly a reference to Galina and the families' intervention. Again clueless to reality, he still insists that Galina Serin regards the IAFF blog as Casey Serin's mistress. Wrong again, little dude. Galina's fed up with scrubbing toilets while you sit on your ass. Plain and simple.

Casey sneers to his caller "Thanks for your negativity." Actually, you're the one pouting and crying, Casey, so the vast majority of negativity was actually spewing out of your lying mouth.

A caller named "internet" picks up on this and calls Casey Serin out on his inability to commit, follow through, and live up to his word. Casey Serin whines again, his tired "I'm so misunderstood" routine, and bitches that he's being picked apart. The funniest part of this exchange is when Casey Serin asks his caller if he would chastise a child for falling down while it's learning to walk.

If the child in question burned down the house as it fell down while learning to walk, then YES, every blessed one of us would chastise the child, Casey.

Casey Serin doesn't appreciate "internet" pointing out that he's not a child and shifts the blame from Galina to the Haterz as being the reason for shutting down "I Am Facing Foreclosure." No one sees, in Casey Serin's opinion (which, again, holds a different definition from the aforementioned word "fact") the voluminous positive changes he's been able to make.

You know what, Casey? You're correct there. No one has been able to see that. Because your "positive changes" are like an imaginary friend that you carry around in your pocket and feed cracker crumbs to.

Now a special word to Casey Serin's last vocal supporter, Mocha. I don't know where you came from, sweetheart, but you're obviously new to this game. When you popped up on an earlier fraudcast, I took you at face value as a young, overeager little queen who was twittering from all the drama.

But since you're repeatedly inserting yourself into the line of fire, here's the dish, Mary. In all of your exuberance in supporting Casey Serin, you're just playing out the newbie routine--oh the Haterz are so hard on you! and all that nonsense. Did it escape you that Casey Serin treated you like everyone else who has earnestly offered him advice? He smiled and nodded and then continued to traipse down his merry path of picking dandelions.

I had a whole coterie of post-brunch queens with me this afternoon as I listened to your bullshit. And they all rolled their eyes and laughed out loud in recognizing the hubris of the young gay male.

On that topic, maybe you should have asked Casey Serin how he feels about queers...what fun tidbits of information he's picked up from his fundamentalist teachers. Because we've already seen what he's been reading about the world's non-white population.

One of my queens pointed out that, as a particularly flamboyant little thing, you must have really been put through the ringer at some point to identify and even align yourself with the downtrodden Casey Serin. Fair enough. But I find your ignorance appalling. You can't see Nigel Swaby for the seedy hanger-on that he is, so it's not surprising that you won't acknowledge Casey Serin as a criminal, fraud, and liar.

Even Casey Serin doesn't take Nigel Swaby seriously. He's ignored everything Nigel has ever said to him, dangled the carrot in front of him regarding bringing Nigel into "I Am Facing Foreclosure," and doesn't even read Nigel Swaby's multiple blogs.

In fact, when Nigel Swaby called in to talk to Casey Serin, Nigel smugly made reference to one of his blogs, asking Casey to acknowledge and thereby publicize it. After several seconds during which I swear there were crickets chirping, Casey admitted he hadn't seen it. A defeated Nigel Swaby then hung up.

Through all of Casey's pouting during the Friday fraudcast, one thing is clear. He's pissed off that he couldn't control the story. And maybe that's the thing that finally drove Galina Serin, the Serin family, and the Suprun family to the edge. The fluffy articles about "Casey and Galina Serin as victims of predatory lending or the real estate bubble" are gone. Instead, they've been replaced by stories of "The World's Most Hated Blogger."

So, Casey, you can be as angry as you like over the fact that, from the earliest days, the Haterz controlled the story. The reality is that you never could have existed without them. They linked to you, increased your page rankings, and stirred up interest in all corners of the blogosphere on your behalf.

We were always going to win this one. Because at the end of the day, you're going to fade to obscurity, known for little else but a dancing monkey on the internet for a few months. We've all got our careers, our friends, our families, not to mention our hopes, dreams and futures. You've got that gnawing pit of dread in your stomach, waiting to see when the next shoe will drop, who will be coming for you next.

Just do us all a favor...when the po'po does eventually come to take you away, be sure to pull an O.J. so that we can all watch the v-dubs careening down the 101 in a desperate attempt to make a run for the border.

Consider it a final blog entry for the Haterz.