Chateau Fleur

The winery where grapes die. And go to Hell.

In a dumpster-diving expedition (which began with the sighting of a set of industrial shelves), my husband came across many, many unopened bottles of various wines and liquors. We suspect that the dumpster contents were the result of cleaning out someone’s garage, as the receptacle was owned by a company for hire.

At any rate, we cracked open a bottle of “Chateau Fleur” New York pink champagne (and when was the last time anyone heard of that? It sounds so Auntie Mame, and by that I mean something that would have been served at Upson Downs). This may be the nastiest stuff I’ve ever tasted, even accounting for the fact that it had lost its fizz. Here are some other labels from this choice collection:

Martinique Sparkling Sangria
Bertran Pinot Chardonnay (José López Bertrán y Cía, Tarragona, Product of Spain)
Bertran Pink Chablis (ditto)

There’s also a Haut Sauternes, a couple of vermouths that have gone gritty due to the dissolution of part of the bottle cap, and a few bottles of claret. The claret makes me think I might have stumbled into an English novel about the early 1800s, and I have a sneaking suspicion that tasting it will make me hate English novels about the early 1800s.


I know Starbucks isn’t good coffee. I know. But here’s the thing: I like their lattes. And I’m not making you drink them. So get off my back.

Peet’s: I tried, really I did. The people and the pastries are great. But the espresso is just too strong, now that I drink coffee once or twice a week. Obviously my tolerance is shot. I have to say, though, that I don’t enjoy it as much when I have the jitters afterward. On the other hand, their tea is good.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Vanilla powder. Nasty.

Tanner’s: I’ve tried it a couple of times, and I’m not taken with it. Something’s off, and I’m not sure what. Besides, there isn’t one close enough to bother. Also, do they not have a web site?

Ideally, I’d find some local coffeehouse that wasn’t a chain. But I’m all about the convenience, and I don’t live in a neighborhood with non-chain coffee. Well, not non-chain lattes. The regular coffee at the corner donut shop is pretty good, actually.

If you’ve got anywhere to suggest in the general vicinity of, let’s say, the Westside Pavilion, leave a comment.


I’ve found a site that’s very useful:


The graphics and rah-rah attitude can be a little much, but I do like the emphasis on gradual cleaning and the development of new habits. I find the Fly Zones section particularly useful.

Reading: Still working on Raymond Chandler’s letters. They’d go faster if they weren’t so interesting, and so well-written.


We saw Serenity on Friday–opening night. What a ride! I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes science fiction and westerns, particularly in the same movie. And Zoe is the action heroine I’ve been waiting for. Thanks, Gina Torres!



You scored as Hoban 'Wash' Washburne. The Pilot. You are a leaf on the wind, see how you soar. You have a good job, and a stunning wife who loves you (and can kill people). Life is good, which is why you can’t help smiling. Now if you can just get people to actually listen to your opinion things would be perfect.

Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Damn. I wanted to be Zoe.

Reading: Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler