Sunday, March 06, 2011

Santa Barbara's Got Talent

This town is full of amazing talent. People want to live here pretty badly (and, oh boy, are we doing it badly.....). What this means is that jobs are hard to come by and everyone tends to be absurdly overqualified. The person bringing cupcakes to the Kindergarten bake sale probably used to handle catering for Paramount Studios. The volunteer Mom who is handling the class website is likely to have been Head of Product Development for Citrix. It's alternately inspiring or depressing, depending on your mood and insecurities.

Today I have decided to see it as inspiring, and I'm choosing to celebrate some friends who are doing amazing things in their chosen field.

Firstly, my ex-next door neighbour, and the reason I started blogging; Eden Kennedy of www.fussy.org. Eden has co-authored a fabulous book with her friend Alice Bradley, and its launch was last Monday....

















Let's Panic About Babies is a spoof parenting book, and Lord knows the world needs a little tongue in cheek when it comes to the thou shallts of Mom advice. I think you should buy it for every new Mum you know (I have). It's a breath of fresh air and will leave you rolling on the floor with laughter - which won't be comfortable if you're 9 months pregnant or have just had an episiotomy.

It's available at every fabulous book store you can think of - which in Santa Barbara basically means Chaucers as both Barnes and Noble and Borders have closed within weeks of each other. Talking of Chaucers, Eden will be doing a book signing there on St. Patricks Day for those who live in the 'hood.

I think you should go. I think you have a lot to learn.


Secondly, our good friends Scott and Jen have been working really hard on Cesarina Wines in the Santa Rita Hills - the #1 Pinot area in Santa Barbara County. Last year was a bad year for many of us, but one of the truly bright spots was a weekend spent up in the valley helping our friends 'train the vines'.






Don't you love my fabulous purple washing up gloves?






























Training the vines involves weaving the straggling tendrils up through the wire fencing so they don't trail on the ground as a snarled mess. For me, an early misty morning in the fields, neatening rows of vines, seeing my work create beautiful even rows - was complete bliss. Especially when we happened on unexpected delights like this:



















The girls played in the vines, chasing each other between the rows - fun until Anna went missing and we heard the howl of coyotes in the distance - but obviously all was well, she just couldn't raise her 'vine fairy' voice loud enough for us to hear her....



































The product of all their hard work is Cesarina Wines. In particular, their Pinot is absolutely out of this world - fruity and mellow with top notes of purple washing up gloves. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have purchased a barrel of the Chardonnay. If you get a chance, please buy a bottle to see for yourselves and amaze your friends with your savvy underground wine knowledge. Check out www.Cesarinawines.com to see local stores where it can be bought by the bottle or by the glass.

There's love in every bottle!



Last but certainly not least, there's my friend Raph at Timberline -  www.timberlinesurf.com making handcrafted custom wooden surfboards:






Absolutely beautiful works of art - and they surf great too - although I'll have to take Raph's word on that as the closest I've ever come to surfing is with a keyboard and a mouse. Don't you think one of these would look very tasteful hanging on your living room wall? Just think how cool people would imagine you to be.

OK, probably not appropriate if you're knee-deep in snow in the American MidWest right now, but perhaps there's a latent surfer in all of us, or at least an appreciator of fine craftsmanship.



Hope you enjoyed the little tour of my talented friends. Not that running a busy medical practice isn't a talent of course, but these people do make it seem a trifle dull....

4 comments:

Almost American said...

You have talented friends indeed! I love those surfboards. I saw people learning how to make them at the Wooden Boat School in Maine - a lot of work for something with such simple lines in the end!

Alie said...

Love the color of those eggshells! Lovely!

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