Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tougher Than The Rest

I have spent many of the last 36 hours watching coverage of the celebration of Teddy Kennedy's life. More eloquent people than I have - and will - summarize his legacy and what he has represented to his family and this country over the last 50 years.

The words that have come into my mind as I have read and watched and listened to these tributes are toughness, love, hope and, most powerfully - perseverance.

I couldn't find any song in my library with perseverance in the title...and the one that comes up most on iTunes is by a band called Hatebreed. Well that didn't sound like it fit the moment. Brian Stokes Mitchell sang Impossible Dream at the memorial Friday night and that seemed appropriate...but a bit melodramatic. So, I'll take Bruce and Tougher Than the Rest.

Here's what says:

per⋅se⋅ver⋅ance – noun

1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

1300–50; ME perseveraunce

Doggedness, steadfastness. Perseverance, persistence, tenacity, pertinacity imply resolute and unyielding holding on in following a course of action. Perseverance commonly suggests activity maintained in spite of difficulties or steadfast and long-continued application: Endurance and perseverance combined to win in the end.

which may be used in either a favorable or an unfavorable sense, implies unremitting (and sometimes annoying) perseverance: persistence in a belief; persistence in talking when others wish to study.

with the original meaning of adhesiveness, as of glue, is a dogged and determined holding on. Whether used literally or figuratively it has favorable implications: a bulldog quality of tenacity; the tenacity of one's memory

I aspire to be remembered as having 1/10 the toughness, love, hope and perseverance of Teddy Kennedy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two More Bottles of (Organic) Wine - Emmylou Harris

Three months later...she felt unburied enough to post.

I don't know when, but at some point I became aware that I had a favorite wine. By a long shot. I have long preferred Chardonnay - and to be more specific, California or, if I must, Oregon or Washington, Chardonnay. The ones where you can kinda taste the wood a bit (wine snobs call this "oakey"), and that are substantive enough to roll around in your mouth and cause no puckering. I think they call this, "round" or "big" or something.

Over the years I've gone through phases with some good wines, always looking for something in the $9.99 - 12.99 range for everyday drinking. I believe that life is too short, and wine is too caloric, to drink average or bad wine. For a while in the early part of this decade, Mark West made that kind of Chardonnay. Somewhere about three years ago it got a little "thin" for my liking...probably about the same time they decided that they were on a "Pinot for the People Revolution." So I switched to Bogle, which is from Washington state. Bogle has one of the best Chardonnays at the $10 price point. I still drink it occasionally.

Many years ago I was on the Board of Business for Social Responsibility. Fetzer was one of our signature members - having distinguished itself as a company with an environmental and social orientation. In 1987 they started making organic wines...before pretty much anyone knew what that meant. And in the late 1990's I think I bought a few bottles of Bonterra Chardonnay at the local health food store. This is saying something, since Maryland's wine laws are crazily restrictive. I thought it was good, not great. But then after my Mark West/Bogle period I tried the Bonterra again. And, damn, it was so good. Just that right balance of flavors to make it a great everyday drinking wine that can also stand up to a variety of foods.

So for the last couple of years, Bonterra has been the house wine at our home. It's on the high range of of my "every day price point," but if you buy a case they give you a discount. :)

Friday night I bought a case and read the top of the box: In keeping with our mission to be environmentally responsible, we have used earth-friendly materials to produce this wine product, packaging and carton. Please help us reduce waste in landfills by reusing and recycling this carton and glass.

I love that.

And to prove that I do have the best job in the world, a few months ago one of my GlobalGiving corporate partners introduced me to Brown-Forman, Bonterra's current owner. And now we are working on a potential partnership with them that will make it easy for more people to support sustainable agriculture, just like they do.

I love it when my worlds collide. Cheers.