“If we do meet again, why, we shall smile…

The Great Anthony Ridley - (Photo from OA Online)

The Great Anthony Ridley – (Photo from OA Online)


If not, why then this parting was well made.”

Julius Caesar – Act V Scene 1

Anthony Ridley sat alone in the men’s dressing room. Outside in the green room, an ensemble of 19 to 22 year-old college kids were cacophonous. The man, working  among children, went about applying his makeup and his line recitals undisturbed for a few moments. As soon as the other actors made their way into the dressing room, with some like me late for their call, the chatter began, and it became unbearable for him. Here was an equity actor providing a living example of how to be a professional of the craft, and here was my 19 year-old self acting like a futureless hack. I remembered thinking, when Anthony accepted the role of Shylock in Merchant of Venice, how much fun it was going to be to work with him in this setting. I had assumed we would smoke cigarettes, and he would regale us with stories from his days in NYC. Like most things I discovered in the early years of adulthood, being a pro was not something one could simply turn on and off as one pleased. Effort, dedication, and focus were three facets of the craft that were necessary to succeed, and I was void of all three. Anthony, whom I generally enjoyed as my Theater Arts teacher, became the bane of my existence during the run of this show. He barked at me and the others who he perceived to be taking the production less than seriously. He would storm out of the dressing room and recite his lines outside, as I thought to myself how little fun he must be having. It turned out that his performance was extraordinary, and mine was monochromatic, at best. In this show, he was a beautiful master on the stage, and I was a punk.

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Happy Sixth Anniversary Juliet

Housewrighter - Happy Anniversary Juliet

Juliet slurping on our favorite rosè champagne

Happy Sixth Anniversary Juliet! This little piece, surely you’ve come to expect, is a quasi state of our union. This address encapsulates the hows, the whys, and the hopes, I spend hours of my weeks considering. In the 9th year of our togetherness, I have finally started to believe you like me. While I still have some trouble liking myself, you demonstrate everyday that you have some inexhaustible capacity for enduring this impulsive, and whimsical man you married. Now that we are about to return to our passion for overseas travel, it seems a fitting time to tell you some things that make me happy about you, and where we are in life. [Read more…]

Housewrighter Featured in Purely Domestic Wine Report

Housewrighter - Purely Domestic Wine Report

Sunrise in the Alexander Valley

The Housewrighter is currently featured in the wonderful wine industry insider’s guide, Purely Domestic Wine Report. My friend, Doug Wilder, is a fascinatingly observant man. His keen knowledge of the domestic wine industry has led him to discover many of the nation’s cult wines, long before they became household names. I met Doug years ago, when we both worked at Vinfolio in San Francisco. However, I only really got to know him when we spent a day working with the iPhone camera. Now, Doug produces his glossy publication solely with images he takes with his iPhone. That is how powerful this tool can be, and how well Doug uses it. In his writing, and in his photos, there is a deeply considerate artist at work.

Now, and thanks to Doug, I can offer my readers a complimentary issue just by clicking this link, Purely Domestic Wine Report . [Read more…]

The Blue Rock Chronicles – Blending

Housewrighter - Blue Rock Chronicles

Kenny Kahn and Graduated Cylinders, in Baby Blue, of Course

The Blue Rock Chronicles is my year-long journey, in residence, with Blue Rock Vineyard in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Recently, I had the great privilege of sitting in, and joining, the blending of Blue Rock’s most popular wine, Baby Blue. My favorite part of being a wine merchant, for many years, was the opportunity to taste so many finished wines upon their releases. Now, after the many thousands of prêt à boire products I have tried, for which I believed many could have been better with my professional input, I was getting my chance to put my money where my mouth is. [Read more…]

Housewrighter embeds with Blue Rock Vineyard

Housewrighter - Blue Rock Chronicles

The 19th Century Farmhouse.

The Housewrighter has embedded with Blue Rock Vineyard for a 1 year exploration of an estate, its winery, and the people who manage them. Kenny Kahn is the magnanimous owner of Blue Rock, in the Alexander Valley. This, recently fashionable, enclave of excellent wine is showing up all over the press lately. Blue Rock is one of the reasons it is. The wines are excellent, but I am not here to write about wine flavors, organoleptic compounds, or scores from critics. I am here to talk about people, to share my observations living at the winery once a month, and to learn just what the hell goes on day-to-day during the winery year. It all starts with Kenny, a native of Memphis, and while his southern charm is evident, do not be mislead by the lilt of his voice when he describes his estate. Kenny is no bumpkin. He is cool, well-dressed in French berets, country denim, and possessing the savoir-faire to relate to kings and countrymen. He is clearly well-traveled and conscious of his presentation.  In the first 15 minutes of hanging out with him, it is apparent he owns the place, and not just in deed, but in show. [Read more…]

Housewrighter Nominated for Prestigious Photo Award

Housewrighter - Hipstography Award

One of my Nominated Images

The Housewrighter was just nominated for a prestigious photography award by the industry-leading website Hipstography. I would very much appreciate your vote. Just follow this link VOTE for HOUSEWRIGHT and vote for my COMBO 280 – Michael Housewright. [Read more…]

Housewrighter Work Published in Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Housewrighter - Published in Wine Enthusiast

Roadside Vineyards in Alexander Valley

The Housewrighter’s photography will be published in a 10 page article in the upcoming December issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The article, penned by the venerable Virginie Boone, focuses on some of the outstanding wineries of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, California. Michael Housewright will receive a photo credit by-line, and his work over 5 days in the AV is flush with the signature drama and movement in his images. Photographer Loren J Root assisted Michael on the shoot and his work was integral to the project. Loren’s work will be seen in the AV piece and will be featured in an article on soil consultant Paul Skinner, also in the December issue. [Read more…]

Lake Tahoe – Smoky Images

Housewrighter - Lake Tahoe

A Ghostly Abyss

Lake Tahoe – Smoky Images is a 3 part photo essay on the duality of disaster. As is typically the case when I travel, I had to jettison my expectations within the first few minutes of arriving at a destination. The last time I visited Lake Tahoe was in 1999. I was under 30, recently rejected from a job in Rome I had wanted more than any other job before or since, and had just visited the Napa Valley for the first time. I lost my only black and white roll of film on that visit 15 years ago. [Read more…]

A Feral Humans Photo Shoot – Handley Rock

Housewrighter - Feral Humans

Feral Humans Dwelling in Local Cave

A Feral Humans Photo Shoot was not a choice. It was a duty to my species to capture these rare beings in their natural habitat. Travel photography need not shun the sensual in my opinion, and in my journey to the mystical Handley Rock, high in the hills above Redwood City, I found these two playful creatures frolicking among the recent hipster graffiti. One was called Dakotah, and the other Jason. These two souls, who sometimes masquerade among us, making coffee, were perhaps a bit shy at first, but their natural attraction to one another, and the bright lights, became quickly apparent. [Read more…]