Friday, February 24, 2012


The NBA All-Star game is this weekend, but it's been kind of an All-Star month for the celebrity English lessons I produce for English, baby!

So far this season, I've enlisted the help of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Grant Hill in teaching a bit of basketball slang to students around the world. This, along with the pandemic of "Linsanity" that is sweeping the globe and has people everywhere talking about NBA fans in Asia, enabled me to get the attention of Reuters, whose story has now been picked up by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC, and translated into Chinese.

In addition to D12, I also met KPTV sports anchor Dan Sheldon at the Orlando Magic media session. He produced this segment for his show, "Oregon Sports Final." I've been hoping someone would come along and put together a highlight reel of these interviews, and Dan did it just perfectly.

A reporter from the state-run Taiwanese media shot a story about these lessons today. Hopefully, the momentum just keeps building. Oh, and if you see Jeremy Lin, tell him I really appreciate him waiting to have his breakout winning streak until just after I shot the best two NBA English lessons yet, and I want to talk to him about some basketball slang.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In Vino, Magus

When I first discovered wine, I was 19 and studying in Spain. While other kids liked to drink hard alcohol at the massive parties in the town square, I liked to drink wine straight out of the bottle. I would soak the label off so I just had the green glass with a cork sticking out. It felt like I was drinking a piece of history instead of just getting wasted, which was appropriate considering the city where I lived, Málaga, is more than 2000 years old.

It took a long time (and falling in love with a particular woman) for me to appreciate the wines of the Northwest after I came back. I'm thrilled to have had the chance to write a pair of articles about one of my favorites, Montinore Estate of Forest Grove.

Their wines are biodynamically grown, which makes them so magical I don't even have to soak the labels off to feel like some kind of ancient poet. I was shocked to learn that their biodynamic growing practices actually save them money, so I wrote about that for Sustainable Business Forum.

I also attended an event Montinore had in its tasting room on Valentine's weekend where couples could make their own special blend of Pinot Noir. It was fun to write a sweet, gushy story about it for The Oregonian.

Image: A row of grapes growing as nature intended at Montinore Estate.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

They Grow Up So Fast

Seems like only yesterday the Diskords were the talk of Portland punks who wondered how they could be both so good and so young. Now they're having their very own reunion show. At a bar. And not just any bar, it's the drunkest event of the year, the Slabtown Bender. Find the bit about the Diskords at the end of this preview I wrote for The Oregonian.