Uptown Girl

Last Thursday and Friday was a company "retreat," where all 15 of us went over to the CMO's* house to talk about direction of the product and stuff. Most of the discussion was pretty non-essential to me**, but I got a good chance to gawk at a $4 million dollar house. The other indicator that I was in a whole 'nother world was on Thursday after the last talk, where a co-worker brought out some wineglasses and asked us all to try his wine. Now down our way, that might mean "wine what I saw at Trader Joe's and thought looked good" or, more likely given the emphasis on the pronoun, "wine what I made out of a kit and a plastic bucket." I was cringingly anticipating the latter*** but upon sipping it, it was actually pretty tasty. Then I found out that this wine was actually from the gentleman's own vineyard.

The vinous festival continued at the company Christmas party on Friday night, at an even more expensive house (complete with large climate controlled wine cellar and six-car garage with a turntable to hold a vintage car collection****). The host, our CEO, was very generous with his wine collection and opened several bottles to further the education of us amateurs. I am plotting how to slip a few bottles of Thunderbird into the CEO's wine cellar before the next party, which I think would be very funny. Of course, I best liked what turned out to be the most expensive wine offered,***** which I hope made up for the fact that when the host asked us for opinions on the samples, I offered adjectives like "presumptious" and "Episcopalian." I fear that people thought I wasn't taking the whole thing seriously enough.

Marketing phrases that I am sick of after only two days:

  • "Double-click into" (to mean "focus on")
  • "Very unique" (aargh!)
  • "Leverage"
  • "Literally" (used to mean "especially" or "really")

Marketing phrases that I liked:
  • "Schasm" (to mean a really big divide; seemingly a combination of "schism" and "chasm." I have no idea if this was an intentional portmanteau or a mistake)
  • "We've finally penetrated the bowels of the FDA" (um, pardon?)

And in our far humbler home, we've been doing pretty much nothing but watching Torchwood, the Dr. Who spinoff probably best described as a British X-Files. It doesn't take itself near as seriously as the X-Files did, but it isn't camp or parody (in other words, there's the typical difference between American and British styles). It's good and we like it a lot. We find it's best accompanied by a sparkling young malted barley varietal, with a crisp nose, distinctly foamy legs, and a lingering hoppy finish.

* Chief Marketing Officer

** Though there was an interesting (to me, and relatively) talk by our FDA consultant about the current practices in drug development and the FDA's new approval process, which we might have to incorporate to some extent in our product. I also found out that when you call them "pills" instead of "tablets," chemical engineers get the same little eye-twitch that civil engineers do when you call it "cement" instead of "concrete."

*** Sorry to everyone I've ever politely lied to, but home-made kit wine is awful.

**** Including a Jaguar XS with an inline-8 that might be the most beautiful car I've ever seen.

***** Beringer 1999 Private Reserve Cabernet, as I recall. By the way, the word on the street (well, the private landscaped drive) is that 2005 was a great year in Napa. Stock up!


  1. cenobyte said...

    pithy, but subtle.  

  2. Electric Maenad said...

    "Schasm!" sounds like something an obscure 1970s-era superhero would shout before activating his ideology-shattering superpowers.  


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