Taking Your Chances On The Karmic Pipeline

My New Year’s Resolution for 2017 is to make out with Jennifer Lawrence. And by make out, I mean make out, like old skool style, in the back of a ’72 Camaro with a jug of Cribari Rosato and an 8-track of Boston rattling the Kenwoods. Of course, the chances of this actually happening are next to zero, which is why I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions.

Boston! I wouldn't make out with any of these guys. Ok, maybe the dude with the 'fro.
Boston! I wouldn’t make out with any of these guys. Ok, maybe the dude with the ‘fro.

You see, I’m a sales guy, so resolutions don’t mean crap. I believe in the almighty power of The Sales Pipeline. For those of you not in the sales game, think of the Pipeline as…well…this length of pipe…and metaphorically speaking, in one end you’re shoving in all this raw Pilsbury Pop ‘n Fresh Dough (potential sales opportunities) until out of the other end comes freshly-baked, artery-clogging rolls (closed deals). At the beginning of the process, you’re going to the store and buying the swoopy blue tube full of potential yumminess and then you’re slamming that thing edge-wise against the counter and then turning on the oven and burning your hand and, you know, doing all the things you need to do to get those rolls a-bakin’. The key to remember, though, is that while you’re rolling those bad dogs up into mock-croissants on your ungreased cookie sheet, you’re simultaneously going back to the store to get more dough. This ensures that the Pipeline is always full. ABC: Always Be Closing.

Granted, life itself is a lot less predictable than a Sales Pipeline. Life, as John Lennon said, is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. So I tend to look at life as more of a Karmic Pipeline: What you get out of it depends on what you put into it, tempered by the reality that some really nasty shit that you have no control over could also happen totally at random. The net result of this is that there are no New Years Resolutions; there are only Chances Of Things Happening.

For example, there is a chance that in 2017, my first novel might be picked up by a publisher. There’s a chance my kids will remain healthy, happy and awesome. There’s a chance I’ll have a functional relationship. This is because I’m actually finishing up my first novel, I’m actively working to keep my kids thriving, and I decided not to spend another year being The Human Throw Rug in my relationship. I could resolve to make out with Jennifer Lawrence all day long, and I could even go out and buy a Camaro and an 8-track cassette player, but until I’m acting in a film with her and she can personally get a load of this USDA Certified Man Meat, there will be no making out.

Further to the point, in 2017 there is a chance I could lose a loved one, or be laid off from my job, or get my face blown off by this cheap-ass gas grill. I do not say this to pee in your Cheerios, but because that’s the point: By simply being alive and playing the game, we subject ourselves to risk and misfortune, some of which is out of our control. You could choose to avoid that chance by sitting at home, alone in the dark, but concurrently you’d eliminate even the remotest chance of a heavy make out session with Jennifer Lawrence (unless she was delivering pizza to your door, but that only happens in porn. Not like I would know or anything).

So what are you going to do? What are you going to be? Go out there and shove some highly-processed dough-like-substance in your pipeline and spew some baked goodness on your life. No one’s going to cold call for you, and you’ve got about fifteen seconds on this planet before your individually-metaphorical gas grill explodes.  Jennifer Lawrence is not delivering pizza to your apartment, baby. You gotta drive the Camaro to her.

bremmer-2Calculating Your Odds On The Karmic Pipeline Pairs With: The Bremer Family 2009 Merlot, Napa Valley.  One of the most fortunate aspects of my professional life is that my chances of being exposed to some great wines, great wineries and amazing people are exponentially higher because I work in Napa Valley. Case in point, I got a call the other day from Buddy & Michael at Bremer Family Vineyards on Howell Mountain, with an invitation to come up to the winery, check out the estate and try the wines.

One of the most unique things about Bremer’s winemaking is the time in barrel and bottle they commit to before releasing the wine. Most Cabernets get three years in the barrel and three in the bottle before release, which means their “new” vintage is the 2010. Bremer uses a combination of estate fruit – some from the Howell Mountain AVA and some from a Napa Valley designation, but what’s interesting to note is that the Napa fruit actually comes from Howell Mountain; it’s just a parcel a little further down the slope and outside the boundaries of the AVA.

The result of all this is wine that has both mountain-fruit intensity and an amazing sense of balance. To me, nowhere is this more prevalent than in the 2009 Merlot. It sizzles with cherry fruit and bright acid, then treats you to a unique demonstration of what’s different about Merlot tannins. Best of all, it’s more than reasonably priced, as are the private tours and tastings provided at the estate. Don’t make it your New Year’s Resolution to go there…just go.

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