Wednesday, January 13, 2010

overheard words, spiced with culture

...I sat there once, eating ice cream."

{You should just buy a house and call it your Christmas House...}

"Oh, look at this fudge shop!
"Let's go to the fudge shop!"
"I know!"
"Fudge shop, now!"

Ye Olde Dominion Wine Shoppe: a small wine store that provides small tastings with big ambiance.

a fresh snack

Snacks don't last forever. As a matter of fact, they are consumed rather quickly, enjoying a rather short existence before being replaced by something better, tastier, more enjoyable.

As with food snacks, "ink snacks" has enjoyed spurts of brief existence. But it's not gone; instead, a better, more enjoyable, more versatile snack is awaiting ziplock greatness. Since another bite-sized iteration is in the works, I thought I'd review the first two versions since it's the past that the present uses to improve the future.

Round 1: concept piece (never distributed)
dimensions: 5"x5"
images: upper-left: cover; upper-right: table of contents; lower-left, lower-right: sample spread

round 2: "ink snacks: bite-sized creativity", first edition, distributed through Etsy
dimensions: around 4"x4"
images: top: cover, folded; bottom: interior, unfolded

This version of the zine had one major flaw that happened to be one of its best features: it was handmade. The benefit was obvious in that it had a lot of imperfections and details that were the result of it being constructed entirely by hand (to include the stamped lettering on the cover). The flaw was that it took way too long to make one copy; after distributing six copies (four sold and two given away for promotion), I ceased further distribution, which I'm ok with because it only makes the existing zines more valuable.

Round 3: ?

While there will still be handmade elements, it will be in a format that can be easily reproduced through printing. It will also remain in a portable size although I can almost guarantee its dimensions will be larger than the above iterations; as with the last iteration, round 3 will be sold through Etsy.

Stay awake and don't ruin your creative appetite, a fresh "ink snacks" is in the works!"

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'm sure you can imagine...

Whoever invented chalk certainly did not have this in mind."

(for the background story behind these articles, click here)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

an interesting story or just a door?

[originally published July 9, 2009]

Inspect the door in the photograph, discover its intricacies, and many times has this door been opened/closed, who constructed the door, who created the elaborate door knob, how many pedestrians has this door seen walk past it? Think about the possibilities, realistic or ridiculous.

The subject of this photograph is a simple door in Harpers Ferry, WV; the basic function of a door is something familiar to all of us. But this exercise isn't about a door, it's about the "what ifs" behind an object. We go through life allowing most of what we see to pass through our brains as quickly as a single exhaled puff of cigarette smoke fades into its surroundings. It's a natural reaction, we can't truly look at everything we pass by in a given day. But what could we discover if we took a moment to experience just one random observation?

The purpose of the building that this door belongs to is unfortunately lost in the recesses of my memory. Fortunately, an object as weathered as this one has many stories to tell, even if they are fiction."

"Va La!"

[orginally published July 19th, 2009]

I'm a in "wine? oh...definitely!". That means I enjoy a new adventure when it comes to the marvelous grapes that constitute the tasting experience. A few weeks ago, a new adventure is exactly what I found for in Pennsylvania there is a vineyard called Va La...

Their name is a tribute to a village called Giusvalla, located in northern Italy, the starting point of their family's immigration; the phrase "va la" means "go there" in formal Italian but their dialect aspires to a more "abrupt" meaning loaded in polite sarcasm. And that's where it begins. Their website is sarcasm at its best and the tasting experience includes more of the same but is saturated with interesting knowledge about their wines, along with an unforgettable tasting. Being from Virginia, I'm more than familiar with wine made in the Bordeaux style so Va La's Italian approach is a treat; it is, to say the least, many, many minutes of flavor explosions on the palette. And since food pairings are always on the Va La brain during the wine making process, the tastings include small samples of food (not crackers!) so that you get the full experience that their bottles have to offer.

So I purchased a glass and am going on record to say that I've never enjoyed an individual glass of wine as much as I enjoyed theirs. I swirled the wine in the glass, buried my nose to consume the aroma, held the glass up high to appreciate the color, sipped...then swirled again, buried, held, sipped, more sipping, more swirling...well, you get the point. Each glass deserves some time and that is why this vineyard should not serve as the final stop in a long day of wine tasting; I wouldn't do more than one other vineyard before or after Va La.

And since Va La has so much to offer, I will leave you to explore their website. There are too many gems of sarcasm and information sprinkled throughout the site for me to ruin the surprise by bastardizing the experience any more than I already have. So go ahead, discover for yourself. But I will say this...if you love wine, go to Va La. Don't "think about it", don't "check your schedule"...just go, it's worth the trip.

By the way, when you waltz up to the tasting bar and receive that first glorious pour, do me a favor...remember to ask for the monkey cheese!"