Owning it


The other night, John and I went to Will and Christina’s house (new house – they live in Eugene now YAY!) for a friendly game of DUN DUN DUN….Dungeons and Dragons.  Yes, we are great big grown-up nerds, and we had a really good time.  John DM’d it, and Christina did her best to save our butts.

I chipped in by buying themed wine.  We drank this one, and I will be buying it again.  Good stuff.


We didn’t get to this one, but it looks promising.  I’ll let you know.


You know, I just took a closer look at the actual bottle, and there’s a picture of a squid on it.  That makes it decidedly less appetizing.  I’ll take the hit, though.  I’ll do that for you.

Wine update

My new favorite red wine is actually one that I have liked for….a year?  Two years?  I don’t remember when I first tried it, but I know it was at Emily’s house, and I know I’ve had it more than once at her house.   So thanks, Emily, for 19 Crimes.


They make a cabernet sauvignon, too, but since I rarely like those, I go for the blend.  It’s very good.  You should try it.

Derby Day!

I tried the 14 Hands red blend today because they had a Kentucky Derby label, and since today was Derby Day, how could I resist?  It wasn’t half-bad, actually.  Not my favorite, but totally drinkable.


I picked Whitmore as my winner.  BAD choice, guys.  He came in LAST.  I would say second to last, but the actual last horse didn’t even finish, so technically, my guy was last.   I switched to Whitmore at the last minute because of the jockey (Victor Espinoza, who rode Triple Crown winner American Pharoah last year).  My original choice was Oscar Nominated, who only finished two ahead of Whitmore, so I wouldn’t have won anything no matter what.  Not a good day for the betting version of me.  Luckily, the betting version of me doesn’t see much action.  She’s not lucky.

But really – what am I going to wear?

I met Jess for dinner tonight at Red Red Wine Bar.  It’s really good, and I’m glad we went, even if it is kind of hard to say.  Try it.  You might get it right the first time, but I bet you say “Red Wed Wine Bar” the second time.  Sober, even.  I had a good zinfandel (well, it was a little too sweet, but I liked the fruit in it, and I have NO idea where it came from), and Jess tried a sparkling wine flight.

I’m a little preoccupied right now, so this will probably be short.  I’m going to the office tomorrow (getting up early), and my brain is busy calculating how much (how little) sleep I’m going to get.  I’m also trying to decide what to wear.

It’s tough being me.

Also, Jess wants to buy someone their first Heinlein book and asked me to recommend one.  I think, for someone who doesn’t read science fiction, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is the place to start.  I think Erik would agree with me.

Malbec vs. Malblech

I like wine.  I like malbec.  But a while ago, I found that not all malbecs are equal.  Of course they’re not.  Just like every other type of wine, some are good and some aren’t.  But with malbecs, they seem to come in two different categories.  I’m sure people like the ones I don’t like, but I was having this conversation with an older guy in a bar (the bar Jess likes), and he agreed with me.  He said there are malbecs and there are malblechs.  But how do you know the difference when you’re buying a new one?  He couldn’t help me.

Months later, I was in the wine store facing this dilemma, trying to decide whether or not I should buy a particular malbec.  One of the employees came by and offered her help, and I took the most obvious step ever.  I asked her.  She was able to tell me that there are lighter, fruitier malbecs and heavier malbecs (so that dude and I aren’t crazy), but she couldn’t tell me which one of those I like (of course) UNTIL I remembered that I like the one that bar sells.  Once we identified that one, she found it in the store, said it was on the lighter side (of course), and now the mystery has been solved.  Except that the label on the bottle isn’t likely to say whether it’s a heavy malbec or a light one.  But at least now, I can ask someone knowledgeable and not sound like an idiot (not as much of one).  It would be too much to ask of me to remember which ones I already know I like.

Information you need

Wine update:

Once Upon a Vine = good red blend, maybe a little drier than Apothic Red and Stark Raving Red.

Apothic White = yummy white blend, a somewhat sweet (but not too sweet) mix of chardonnay, pinot grigio, and reisling, according to the label.

It’s snowing again, which may or may not have any bearing on the wine update above.  You decide.

Yay red blends!

I found a new yummy wine!  Check out Stark Raving Red ($8.99 at Total Wine).

Love the label

It’s a red blend, and I think it’s very similar to Apothic Red ($7.97 at Total Wine)…

Apothic White is pretty good, too. Mildly sweet – like a pinot grigio.

…and Sexy Wine Bomb ($10.99 at Total Wine).

Of course, for all I know they’re actually very different, but I’ve never tried them back to back.  The point is that I like them all.  I want to try one called Once Upon a Vine.  Soon.

Check out the bottom of the label


I’ve probably just jinxed the summer weather – it’ll be cold now

I worked from home today because the guys came to replace the HVAC system (and because it was my turn – John stayed home when the painters came).  Now we have a brand new furnace and A/C!  Very exciting.  And they’re pretty, as these things go.  Shiny, anyway.  Unfortunately, I now have a giant, horrible, throbbing, not-at-ALL fun headache.  To go with my stuffy nose and watery eyes.  They ran the heater for a while to make sure everything was working correctly, so it got really hot and stuffy in here, and I’m tempted to open the windows because it’s so pleasant outside, but I think that would be a mistake.  A HORRIBLE MISTAKE.  And I’m not that dumb.  Today.  Ask me again tomorrow.

I flaked on Jess and her mom about the 5K tomorrow because I feel crappy.  It’s not so much about the 5K as it is about not being very good company and being away from home when I feel crappy.  Nobody likes to be away from home when the highlight of your day is the 15 minutes spent feeling slightly less crappy because you were standing under wonderfully hot water in the shower.

I think staring at tiny letters on a screen is not helping my headache, so I’m going to stop.  Also, I need to congratulate myself on finding the end of the work day.  Is it stupid to drink wine when I feel crappy?  Because I think I would like some wine.

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Going to a one-year-old’s birthday party today took all of the energy I had.  I’m home, sitting on the couch, watching Geek & Sundry videos, and I just poured a second glass of wine I don’t particularly like anymore.  I think I’m over the Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc, for those keeping track at home.  I thought I was over it, then I enjoyed a couple of glasses of it a few weeks ago, and now that I’m finishing the bottle, I’m over it again.  And yet I’m still drinking it.  It would be wasteful to just throw it out.  Right?  Also, it would take too much energy to open a different bottle.  Also also, the only other bottle chilled right now is super big, and I just don’t think it makes sense to open a super big bottle just for me.  Not at the end of a weekend, anyway.  🙂  Also also also, if I put another bottle in the fridge (or freezer) to chill, I’ll have to wait for it.  And I’d have to get up and do it.  And have I mentioned that I have no energy?  I think I’m going to work on my puzzle.

Losing track of the point

John is working on his blog software, I’m cataloguing (Really, spellcheck?  That looks SO wrong.  I want to pronounce it cat-uh-log-YOO-ing.  I might from now on.) our books because I’ve noticed that many are missing from my spreadsheets (Yes, plural.  Don’t you talk about me and my spreadsheets.), and I’m finishing a bottle of wine I wasn’t really crazy about.  (Yes, there is such a thing.  Let’s all forget that I’m drinking it anyway.)  This one was described as “herbaceous” at the store.  I’m not getting anything herb-y out of it.

Leaving the not-so-great wine out of the equation – no, even including the not-so-great wine, this is a pretty great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I got my nails done earlier (at a place I will NOT be going back to – I don’t know why I keep trying out new places.  I love my normal place.  I should just keep going there.), and John painted the trim between the library (that used to be the dining room and has no furniture other than my desk (where I am not sitting) and the bookshelves) and the family room, and yesterday we went to Home Depot to start pricing hardwood floors because we’re going to do the whole upstairs ourselves, and I feel like this weekend we’ve reached a nice balance of productive (painting, estimates, laundry, etc.) and relaxing (blog software, book organizing, wine, etc.).

The other thing I did while I was out today was ask around about this GPS watch I’m thinking about getting.  I wanted to ask some real runners what they use, so I went to the one of our local running stores (I went to another one last week) to talk to someone.  I’m thinking about the Garmin Forerunner 210, and the only decision I have left to make is whether I want that one or the 610.  I’m leaning towards the 210.

Man, I am very much over this wine.  And I’m going back to my books.  And thinking about dinner.  Because I’m hungry.

The quick update

We’re home, safe and sound, and so are the dogs.  Nothing happened to Roxy this weekend.  (Thank you, Jess.)  We had a  highly successful Passover seder Friday night, I drank all the wine in the house Saturday night (Mom assures me I most certainly did NOT drink all the wine, but I felt like I had by Sunday morning), and we spent much of Sunday stealing books from Mom and Dad’s basement, all of which now live in OUR basement.  The drive home was much better than anticipated (mostly because we listened to a fantastic book the whole way, but I’ll have more on that once we actually finish it – we have about an hour left), and when we arrived, we unloaded the books in about 30 minutes and picked up the dogs just before the kennel closed.  Busy, but quick and over and done with.  Details tomorrow.  Maybe.  I’ll think about it.

Musing on nothing in particular

  • John caught Riley drinking my coffee this morning.  Later, he (Riley, not John) knocked the trash can down the basement steps and possibly ate some of the coffee grounds that spilled out.  Is my dog a caffeine junkie?  How did this happen?  How did I not notice?  It would certainly explain the high-strung behavior…
  • John made a pot roast (roast beef?  Is there a difference?  I don’t really care – delicious either way) for dinner tonight.  The house smells fantastic – like red wine and onions.  Warm red wine and onions.
  • I got a 96% on my fourth homework assignment in my data modeling class.  I was debating whether or not to argue with the professor because I think (and John agrees) that she’s wrong about that one answer.  I decided not to.  I got a 96%.  Arguing for a 100% isn’t necessary.  I’m letting it go.
  • I’m drinking white wine instead of red even though we’re having pot roast (or roast beef) for dinner tonight.  Ask me if I care.  (Hint: I don’t.)

Easily amused

I was just about done shopping, heading for the checkout, when I saw this:

And then I laughed.  The whole way home, I imagined how this company got their name.  In my head, there was a little girl who grew up in a winery, so she’s been hearing about places like Bordeaux, Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Napa, etc., all her life.  One day she hears someone talking about Côtes du Rhône, but what little girl is going to hear that correctly?  So Goats Do Roam is born, because her parents (or whoever) have a sense of humor.

Sadly, when I googled the company, I found that the story isn’t that charming.  It’s close enough (no children involved, just kids – thank you, I’ll be here all week), though.  I think they should have made something up.

If I cared about symmetry, I’d skip the title

I have been busy.  Good busy and bad busy.  The bad busy parts stress me out.  The good busy parts are things I could do all the time, every day.  And if I could get rid of the bad busy parts, I’d have time for things I like to do when I’m not doing the good busy parts, like playing on the internet.  Like READING.  John looked over at my book the other night, noticed I wasn’t even halfway through it, and told me it felt like I’d been reading that book forEVER.  I’m not sure in exactly what way how long I spend reading a particular book affects him, but if he noticed I haven’t been reading much, then I really haven’t been reading much.  Tragic.

I spent most of the last three days (all weekend and much of Monday) working on my statistics project.  (This is one of the good busy things.)  Nothing about it was hard, but there were a lot of pieces and the instructions were confusing.  I tried to get clarification from my professor, but since I never heard back, I made some decisions based on what the instructions would have said if I’d written them.  I hope they were the right decisions.  I turned it in late last night.  One big task done.  Yay!  Actually, that was the main good busy thing.  The one that took most of my time.  I talked to Corey finally (he’s going to disown me if I put him off any longer) – hooray for change!  Also, I, uh, bought more wine from my favorite local wineries and went to Borders.  Again.  These were very important errands.  Really.  Oh, and I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love Saturday night with a woman I know from the gym.  It was cute.  Ryan Gosling’s ears are too small to be believed.  Seriously tiny ears.

I did one other kinda major good busy thing this weekend.  Big accomplishment for me.  (Big.)  I ran 10 miles Sunday morning.  Ten whole miles.  I wasn’t very fast, and I walked a little bit, but I did it.  I am no longer afraid that I won’t be able to finish the race in October.  I did it.  The last mile was really hard (it wasn’t early morning anymore and the sun was high and the shade had disappeared and I’d been running for nearly two hours and it was my tenth mile), but I realized as I started it that I’d never run this far before (8 miles – two weeks ago – was my longest run until Sunday morning).  And with every step I took, I was running farther.  Each step was one more than I’d ever run before.  There aren’t very many times I’ll be able to say that.

So that was my weekend.  The good busy stuff is all cool and great (now that I’ve turned in my statistics project), but it doesn’t end there.  I have two more quizzes and a final to complete by next Thursday for statistics, and my next calculus class (differential equations this semester) started yesterday.  I’m so glad my classes only overlap by a week and a half.  Any more than that and I’d be seriously considering quitting my job.  I don’t know how people manage working full-time and going to school at the same time.  With just one class at a time and no extra-curricular work activities (don’t get me started), when I can leave work at work, I can manage.  Anything more and my head starts to spin, Exorcist-style.  (It’s not pretty.)  But yesterday, even though it was a Monday and I had work to do and a project to finish, was a really good day.  The weather was perfect, I had the windows open to catch the very breezy breeze, I got a lot done, my legs didn’t hurt from the run the day before, and my strength class that night was calming.  (I really like my gym.)

———Break for earthquake———

This post was going to have an ending, but then there was an earthquake.  Nothing else got done today.  The earthquake ate my ending.

My night off…

…starts now.  I’ve been eating and breathing statistics for over a week.  I took my midterm this afternoon,  I’m home now, John’s in charge of dinner (I think), and I don’t have to jump right into the next statistics chapter just yet.  I have a glass of wine, random French jazz in the CD player (CDs Mom burned and gave me – no idea what the specifics are, but I was in the mood for something unusual and mellow), and a new book.  And I’m going to slice some cantaloupe.  Cantaloupe will get me through this heat wave.

Not so good

I took my calculus final last night.  I don’t feel good about it.  And that sucks.  But it’s over, it’s done, there’s nothing left but the screaming, and I will do my best not to fret.  Until I get my grade.  But then at least I’ll know.  New focus: statistics.  My goal for the weekend is to get through two more quizzes.  And run six miles on Saturday.  That’s really all I’m hoping to accomplish.  That and get to the grocery store.  I need to buy lots of fruit and other healthy things.  And maybe go to Target.  And possibly weed the flower beds.  Drink some wine.  Oooh, I bought a raspberry merlot (“the kind you buy at a second-hand store”) at one of the wineries Jess and I visited last weekend (did I mention Jess and I went wine-tasting last Saturday?).  It’s really good.  Sadly, it’s mostly gone already.  I might have to buy more…but maybe not this weekend.  I’m in danger of over-scheduling myself.  Focus, please.  Statistics!

Really good wine and a hungry raccoon

These are the wines Mom, Mindy, and I had at the Grapevine Wine Bar in New Orleans.  The first one is a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.  Grapefruity.  Found it at Wegman’s for $16.99.

The second one is a pinot gris from Oregon.  This one tasted like apples (but not like apple juice) and was Mindy’s least favorite (but I really liked it).  I found this one at Wegman’s for $12.99.

The third one is a viognier from Argentina.  I don’t remember what it tasted like, but it was GOOD.  Wegman’s doesn’t carry it.  I’ll check Total Wine next time I’m out.

Last, watch this video, courtesy of The Daily What. It’s not long, it’s super-cute, and the tiny bit at the end is John’s favorite part.

Someday I should be prepared for the Oscars

It’s Oscar Night, so I might as well talk about it, right?  But first, I have to see who’s nominated and find out if I even saw any of these movies.  Last year, I hadn’t seen a single Oscar-nominated movie by the time the awards rolled around.

Okay, I’ve checked.  Of movies that were either nominated for themselves or had an actor nominated, I’ve seen Avatar (liked it, but for a technical category, not Best Picture.  I mean, come on, it was a 3D remake of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest!), Julie & Julia, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  Soooo, none of the really good ones.

We’ll watch the beginning for Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, but that’s about it.  I’ll check out the highlights online tomorrow.  We’re going to spend our evening finishing Batman Begins (we got too sleepy to finish it last night) with pizza (and maybe wine – classy, I know).

Oh, we caught up on Lost this morning over breakfast, so Mom, Dad, Mindy, call me tomorrow and we’ll chat.