Three Thing Friday

1. Off the Wagon – Last night was the first time I had alcohol of any sort in over a month. And I fell off the wagon hard. I went to a friend’s house in NJ, and the group polished off a lot of wine.

Problem, I ended up with a hell of a hang over. When I was younger, my recovery time was much faster. This time it is taking me all day to get back. I think I am going to end up taking another, shorter break from drinking.

And I am pretty sure I made a similar post about this already.

2. Shark Week – Well, finally shark week is starting this Sunday. However, I am so impatient that I may have to put on some of my shark week DVDs. Yes, I am such a shark freak that I bought a few DVDs of shark week programming. I even have some on blu-ray.

You know what? Maybe that isn’t such a bad idea.

3. Weird things – There have been some really odd things been going on lately on the east coast. The Carolinas have already had 10 shark attacks this year. This is significantly above average. The average is usually 6 a year. And we are just now hitting the 4th of July.

Shark attacks are not the only thing out of the ordinary. Man-o-wars have washed up on the jersey coast. These jellyfish are way out of their usual comfort zone. I am not saying that this is the first time they have washed up on the Jersey Shore, but they are not a common sight.

There is other out of the ordinary things going on as well. There can be many reasons for this. I am not a scientist, maybe we should ask the pope (hey, he is actually a scientist!). I do believe that what my friend said is probably true. The Gulf Stream may be shifting. I am not saying this is because of Global warming… no, I am saying that. If the current is shifting, and waters are warming up closer to the shores of the US, that could explain these odd occurrences.

Three Thing Friday

1. The MINI – She may be coming to an end. Tuesday night I had an electrical short that triggered almost every warning light in the car. Wednesday, the service engine light went on. The light went off on Thursday, so I thought that was a good thing.

However, today on the way to work, I lost all power and the car limited my ability to accelerate. I couldn’t get up enough speed to get out of second gear. I restart fixed the issue, except the service engine light was back on. Well, apparently accelerating fast trips all of the issues.

I have a feeling this is going to be an expensive repair…. So maybe a new car is on the horizon.

2. Milkshakes – I went to Burger King the other day, and instead of ordering some ice cream like my friend, I ordered a large milkshake. It’s been a while since I had one, and this one was Oreo flavored. For a BK shake, it wasn’t at all. In fact, I would recommend it almost as much as the Shamrock shakes from McDonalds.

So yes, I would recommend the shake from Burger King… but I felt like crap after it.

3. I picked a bad month to give up drinking – I am not falling off the wagon yet, this was a rough week. Class, while interesting and job related, was dry as hell. Granted, it was still better than work, but it sucked.

And then my first full day back to work wasn’t any better. I know I have a few bottles of wine calling my name, but I am going to pass. One month isn’t that long, I can easily do this. But week one was one heck of a test.

The Month of June

I have made a decision concerning the month of June. I decided that I am going to give up alcohol for the entire month. I have a friend who is doing the same (although the timing is a few days off) and I decided it was not a bad idea.

Now, she has her reasons, and I have mine. I do not think that I am an alcoholic, but I think that I could become one. I do have a lot of wine in my house and hard liquor, but no beer, which is kind of surprising. I figure by doing this, I am going to save some money, save some calories, and just prove that I can do it.

Giving up hard alcohol isn’t that hard, I haven’t had any in a long time. Giving up beer is harder since I have a Guinness about once a week. Now, giving up some wine, that is where the real challenge is, since I do love my wine.

But, from the first day of June till the last, I am not going to have any alcohol. I probably should have had a glass of wine tonight.

A Sad Day

Yesterday was a sad day for me. I opened up a bottle of Jersey red for the first time in a while, and it was a lot less work than usual. This is the first of the new release I have had to open. In fact, that is the reason that is was a sad day. Heritage has moved away from corks and into the screw caps for their wine bottles.

Now, there are reasons to move away from the corks, even the synthetic corks. I understand this. The screw caps are actually better for the wine. It will last longer than if bottled with the cork. Storing the bottle on its side (like one is supposed to) causes corked bottles to leak on occasion, which I learned working at a liquor store. This is less likely to happen with the screw top. However, the real reason that Heritage went to the screw top, it is cheaper for them. Corking bottles, even if you have the right equipment, can get expensive. With the corks, the wine is less likely to spoil and leak, potentially saving the owners some of their stock, which means more income and more profits.

But twisting off a cap is not the same as popping the cork. I only had one, and I already miss the cork.

But I guess what is better for the business will always triumph over the fun of the cork.

A Plethora of Bad Decisions

Today I found myself telling a tale to a friend that happened a few years ago. I swear it was like I was still in college, but this took place about five years ago. It all started when I wanted to go to a NY Rangers game. I decided that I would see them play the Flyers in Philly. I bought a couple of tickets and offered to two of my friends. Here is mistake number two, number one going to Philly to see the Rangers play. Number two is that I decided to go with my two friends who are Philly fans. One at least said that they wouldn’t kill me at the game. The wife… yea, she couldn’t promise that.

And now we come up to Bad Decision number three. The day of the game called for a terrible snowstorm, a little like the one that was predicted to hit this past weekend that turned out to be nothing. Except, this storm was something. Well, a little snow wouldn’t stop me, so I drove to my friend’s house and they drove the rest of the way to the game. The game was fun, I had a good time, and everyone gave me a hard time, as I was crazy enough to wear my Rangers jersey in enemy territory. Especially those children who were under the age of eight. There were no real bad decisions made at the game, but after the game is a different story.

After the game, we drove back to my friend’s house in a slowly building storm. It so happened that my friends were throwing a party that night. We decided to make the drive to the party house, which was only a few miles away from my house. And there is another bad decision (4?). We left my car at the first house. Plus, there was an incident that was another bad decision; I was actually hanging onto the back of my friend’s car, being dragged in the snow. I have no idea what I was thinking. Again, it was like a bad (or good) college road trip.

The trip to the party should have taken about an hour. It took us about three, maybe even four. We could have made it to Virginia in the time it took to cross the great state of New Jersey. We should have turned around, which should count as another bad decision. We passed snowplows that slid off the road. Like, actual snowplows. Trucks designed to handle these storms, and we kept driving.

We did make it to the party. We had a blast. Lots of alcohol was consumed. And it is sad when consuming lethal amounts of wine is the least bad decision you make in a night.

Drying Out

I cannot explain why, but I have not had an alcoholic beverage in over a week now. I swear to the god that I do not believe in. And honestly, that is not that much of an accomplishment, but I cannot even explain why this has happened. I love my wine, and I do enjoy a good beer. It’s not like I don’t have the stock. I have plenty of bottles in my wine fridge. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to drink with friends. I just haven’t.

I’m actually a little proud of the fact that I have not had any alcohol, and I cannot explain that either. And with the stress that is going on at work, one would think that I would be having more than one drink a night. Actually, one would think that I would have a bottle a night. But I haven’t.

It’s not like I drink to get drunk. Well, I don’t usually drink to get drunk. I really like the taste of wine and certain beers. I enjoy having a glass or two with my dinner. However, this past week I just haven’t. Maybe my drinking is in reverse… When I am stressed and I could actually use a drink, I don’t drink. When I need it, I don’t want it. So, much like Lynchburg, Tennessee… I am dry.

A Glass of Wine

A few weeks ago I had to take more mandatory training (and this is an excellent use of tax payer money). I had to sit through an hour of Suicide Training (it is possible that there Prevention in that title), which felt more like a motivational speech, and an hour of Substance Abuse training, which made me want to commit suicide. The only positive outcome to these two training sessions is that it got me out of my monthly briefing at Pointless Meeting Tuesday. And I am sure that my coworkers were glad that I didn’t brief, if only because that saved them 45 seconds in their meeting.

Now, the host of the two briefings lost all credibility in his Substance Abuse training when on the second slide he briefed that moderate drinking is 2 drinks for men and 1 drink for women per night. Really? WTF? Not only is that a sexist statement, but it is also very in accurate. I am not saying that more drinks would still be moderate, but you have to take other aspects into consideration. I know certain women who could drink me under the table. And after I regained consciousness, they would drink me under the table again. (You know who you are!) These women can hold their alcohol, and I would not say that if they had two drinks in a night they have a problem. However if I had two drinks in one night, that may not be considered “moderate.”

Wine

Other aspects of the person have to be considered, their height, their weight, their tolerance, and even when they last ate. For me, one drink at dinner is what I would consider moderate. And that is only if I am drinking alone.

But you also have to keep in mind why they are drinking. If they are drinking socially with friends, I would say more than one drink would still be acceptable. If someone is drinking a bottle of wine a night, then there might be a problem. If they are drinking one bottle a night every night, then there is definitely a problem.

I am sitting here alone (well, three cats are keeping me company), having a glass of wine, blogging, and considering what I want for dinner. Do I do this every night? No. Do I drink a glass on most nights? Yes. I enjoy the taste, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have purchased the bottle. Well, I might have, I have made poor decisions at wine “tasting” events.

But that is the ultimate point, more than just the sex of the drinker needs to be considered when calling someone’s habit “moderate.” I can polish off a bottle of Jersey White myself when I am drinking with my friends at Heritage, but it is usually over the span of at least 3 hours, usually more. I am drinking with friends. I am drinking for the social aspect. I am not drinking to get drunk.

Well, not usually.

Running Low

I have said time and again, if you like a wine, buy it. Do not listen to what the “professionals” recommend, listen to what your taste buds recommend. If you truly like wine, go with what you like, the price shouldn’t matter. Today, for example, I passed up one of my favorite wines, Jersey White from Heritage for some Mahogany from a small vineyard in Pennsylvania.

Jersey White is one of many wines I like from Heritage. It is a cool crisp white that is perfect for drinking on a hot summers day. It has a slight peach taste, and costs about ten dollars a bottle. I usually end up buying this wine by the case for the discount and knowing that it won’t go to waste. I usually use Jersey White as a gift to friends or as an example to friends as to what a good cheap white wine might taste like. Of course, there are many more wines at Heritage I can recommend. The Syrah, the Jersey Red, the Chardonnay, the Chambourcin and their Merlot are all wines I would highly recommend. But it is usually the Jersey white and the Chambourcin that I usually end up drinking.

Having dropped praise on Heritage, they are actually not my favorite winery, but they are in the top two. VaLa is my absolute favorite winery. They have a couple of white wines, on occasion, but they specialize in red wines. Silk, Mahogany, Cedar, and La Prima Donna (one of white wines) are just a few of the wines I like from VaLa. In fact, on my first visit, my friend and I challenged the wine wench to find us a wine that we didn’t like. She failed. The down side to this vineyard is that their wines are expensive. Their cheapest wine is about the same price as one of Heritage’s most expensive. And I know that some of my friends disagree with me on the wine. They don’t like the wine for it’s cost. I should clarify; they do not think the taste of the wine is worth the cost.

But that is my point. Go with what you like and what your taste buds tell you to drink. A few friends of mine enjoy Heritage more, a few enjoy VaLa more, and that is their choice.

My other point is that I went through my wine fridge today and found that while I have plenty of Jersey White here, I am starting to run low on my VaLa wines. I am down two four bottles. I sense a trip to VaLa very soon. I cannot let myself run out.

Memories

Early yesterday morning, I had to rearrange some of my warhammer models that were sitting in the garage. In order to get to the ones I needed, I had to move one tray of 38 plastic bugs, and I placed them on top of my car. Once I got what I needed, I went back into my house. About an hour later I left to go out to BJ’s and PetSmart to get some much needed shopping done. As you probably noticed, which I didn’t until I got back home an hour later, I never removed tray. When I finally got back home, there were 38 models all over the road, and the foam tray that they were in.

I cannot tell you how many cars ran over the models, but I can guarantee that at least one MINI Cooper ran them over. It does make me chuckle a little thinking about a plastic bug stuck in the Cooper’s tires. At least I can say that the now flattened models were not my completely finished models.

And this incident concerns me. My memory was never the greatest. I used to even joke that I have the memory of a goldfish. Once I get to one side of the tank, I forgot why I swam there. I know everyone has experienced the moment when you walk into a room and forgot why you walked there. And looking at some of my family history, I know I should be concerned. My father has forgotten some very important things. And do NOT ask my mom how long it took me to remember what her birthday is.

I know these memory issues are not due to the alcoholic beverages I consume, because I had these issues long before I was legally drinking, even before I was illegally drinking. Well, at least I don’t think they are. I will admit that some memories were lost thanks to some heavy nights of drinking with friends.

So, yesterday’s memory lapse cost me $100. And, it may just be that I forgot that I placed the tray on top of the car. It may mean nothing. But, with the family history I have, this is something I have to keep an eye on.

In fact, my memory is so bad, I may have even blogged this before. But I can’t remember.

Sunday Blog

I’m currently sitting outside on my deck. A deck I may have used maybe 10 times in the four years I have lived in this house. I paid for it, I really should use it more often. And for some reason, I decided to use it today. I turned on the suddenly working again dishwasher, poured myself a glass of wine, grabbed my laptop and a chair and went out onto the deck. Some friends gave this new wine to me, and while it is a little sweet for my tastes, it is really good. Actually, it’s not all that far from the Jersey White that I bought a case of this week. Sometimes, you just need to sit outside with a good glass of white wine.

So, I sit here, on the deck, starting to break into a sweat as the sun beats down on me, contemplating what I should blog about. I could blog about not wanting to go back to work tomorrow, but who does? I could blog about how this week was the first Thursday Wine event of the season, but nothing really exciting happened, just a lot of drinking (eight bottles of wine at least). I could blog about what happened in my warhammer games this weekend, but who really cares? Well, a few of you may, but it’s not really meant for this blog.

So here I sit, pondering. Yes it’s hot out, but it is only the start of the season. I better get used to the heat pretty quickly, especially if I want to use this deck. But as I sit here, in the sun and heat, I realize that I had a pretty good weekend. And while I do not want to go back to work, at least I still have a few hours of the weekend to enjoy. Life isn’t all that bad. I’ve got good friends, most of whom I saw, or at least talked to this weekend. Family is still alive and kicking, even if they are currently living in my rental property that I am trying to sell. The cats haven’t been hacking up too many hairballs, though the 6am feeding time is really getting to me. The dishwasher is working again, though I do expect it to break sometime soon… again.

And honestly, it will only be five days till I get to another weekend. I think I can survive that; hopefully I don’t kill anyone in the process.

It was a good weekend, and I cannot wait for the next one.