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A Dingo ran off with the wine!

It's almost Friday and you know what that means. If you haven't already started drinking, there is no time like the present.

One of the many benefits of being under-employed is you can call any day you want Friday. Personally, I like my "Friday's to start at about noon on Wednesday. That way I have already secured my place at the bar, before all the regular working stiffs show up.

Nothing worse than getting to the bar and having to wait for a seat.

Today, I'm going to introduce you to a new wine.

So, clean your wine glasses and make sure they are good glasses too. Nothing gets me in a bad mood quicker, (except maybe art work hung too high) than when someone serves me wine in a glass with palm trees on it.

Pictures on wine glasses are NOT OK.

Come on people, did your parents teach you nothing?

One of the requirements of wine blog participation is that you understand the importance of the vessel. It must be size appropriate for the juice, (not the girl) and the rim must be thin (again, not the girl.)

And the glass, must be CRYSTAL clean- but please, not made of crystal.

And most importantly, I do not want to bring that precious juice up to my pie hole and just before the rim touches my lips, think to myself, "That is not my lipstick color"!

By the time you see the lipstick, it is already too late. Once your lips have made contact with the rim, you will be well past caring. But trust me, it will spoil the experience, a bit.

Now I'd like to add one little disclaimer to everything I stated earlier.

There have been times in my wine drinking experiences, where I have had to resort to Dixie cups, I know... I am not proud of these moments; but felt in the interest of full disclosure, I had to come clean.

But, I want to make this perfectly clear- this is not OK. There are darned few instances where Dixie is appropriate, the only two I can think of are:

1. If you lose the cork, back into the bottle, get out the Dixie;

2. If you are in the backseat of a car - you probably are in Dixie.

Alrighty then, now that I have dispensed with those little kernels of wisdom. Let's go back to the juice!

Marquis Philips S9 Shiraz 2007-Syrah/Shiraz from Australia-$35

Wine Advocate has consistently rated this juice over 90 points and from 2002-2007 never lower than 92 points. If you can get a hold of a 06' bottle (95 rating), call me and we will drink it down together.

Not an inexpensive bottle, but if you want your wine to hit you up like an old lover, this wine is for you. Drink it and before you know it, you will be reminiscing about all the "grand old days" and your shoes and shirt will be off.

And as these things are known to have a mind of their own, I'd like to offer you a little warning, you may not be responsible for your actions!

Whenever my hubby wants to get on my right side he brings me home a bottle, or if he wants to get lucky, two.

I'd choose this wine, over wines priced much higher, for its consistency, drinking pleasure and inspired old memories.

As Paula Deen would say, "Go get you some".



Warning: Things may be larger than they appear!

This past weekend I tried on last years swim suit and I have to tell you, it was shocking.  Nothing seemed to be where it was supposed to be.  How could I have misplaced all those jiggly parts and pieces?  Puzzled, I pulled the suit off and looked at the tag.  Could this be the same suit that just last year had held me close and called me lover?
When I bought the damn thing I almost had to take out a second mortgage, except they said I didn't have the income to qualify.  So I scrimped and sacrificed some of my favorite wines for a week or two, because after all, what with the promises it had whispered in my ear, I figured it was  priceless.  Oh, and the promises that suit made... look ten pounds thinner instantly, regain the breasts of a twenty-two year old, become the most popular aging wino- sipping lush in your neighborhood.  And while I can't say I achieved all of what was promised, it did work in some areas (you be the judge).
No, it was clear, what I was dealing with here was nothing short of  an expired miracle.  See, they never tell you that part on the tag, warning: "This miracle may be temporary and may expire with no advance warning".  The tag also fails to remind you to look in the mirror at your rear-end too.   And that is not such a bad thing, because that is where those miraculous ten pounds get deposited.  Yep, they taken em away from the front and re-deposit them in the back. There is just nothing for nothing in this world we live in.  Dejected, I decided I'd just have to go out and whip up my own kind of miracle.  But first, I thought it might be a good idea to be sure that last nights left over Chinese food was properly secured in the fridge.  Didn't want anyone giving in to the temptation and getting sick because of that sticky wrap or a faux Tupperware not properly sealed.  That was me, always looking out for my loved ones, even if it meant eating potentially dangerous food. I'd take the bullet for them.  And you have to admit, the best part about eating Chinese food is the morning after.  There is just no pill for that.  But here's the problem and believe me, I have thoroughly examined this particular problem from every angle.  The morning after a night with the china man is likely the morning you have promised yourself to start the old diet back up.  There is nothing like a little MSG to get you thinking... Desperate now to avoid the fridge filled with last nights glorious delights, I sat down and pictured every bit of  that Orange peel chicken piled high with the Shrimp fried rice sitting in the doggy bowl.  And I will tell you what, that did the trick.  No way could I possibly enjoy those left overs now.  That hound would be eating with chop sticks tonight.  Feeling the strength that comes with a certain knowledge, I opened the fridge up, pulsing with power. But I hadn't counted on the Crab Rangoon. It was almost like that little Asian man set me up for failure.


When Being Crazy Isn't Enough!

Hot, Chewy, Cheesy, Funky, Flabby, Fat and Brawny.
Careful, that's my wine you are talking about! I have been asked, begged, cajoled- OK, again all lies. But one time, one person asked me to tell them what little I knew about wine. And that is the truth, at least the truth until I get drinking. Then it's, "Everyone is always asking me, how'd you get so good at picking wines and you are so pretty and so smart, is your name Heather”? Those that know me best know I am completely and totally out of wine control and all I really know about wine is that I love to drink it- anytime, anyplace, anywhere, with a fever, or without a fever, sitting up or lying down on the table and sometimes under but just not ever, no not ever in a box! Wine has been very, very good to me. Wine has seen me through some of my darkest of moments and been right beside me for some of my greatest laughs. I don't think I would be who I am today, were it not for all the wine. With that said, here is a relatively inexpensive wine for you to try out. But remember, wine is like the significant other in your life- each to his or her own. So don’t hate me or call me a wine lush behind my back if you don’t like the first one you try, life is short- try them all!
"If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good” Dr. Seuss

Layer Cake Shiraz, South Australian Shiraz a great value- Can be had for around $15 bucks (Just skip the latte and put down the chicken nugget). A big thick, juicy mouthful. Hints of blackberry and a little peppery, a deep, full-bodied, lush style that should drink nicely especially when followed by a second bottle. I’d describe the nose as a honker, but only in the kindest of way, (have you seen the noses in my family?) If you first put your pants on backwards and then sit completely still when you taste, you will get an explosion of dark berry, black cherry, exotic spices and chocolate filling your mouth. You can thank me later, because for the first time in your life you'll at least remember why you put your pants on backwards!
Tipsy Tip:
Look for it at The Wine Barn for the best pricing!
Red wine contrary to what some bossy drinkers may think, is best served at about 59 degrees. Just the slightest of chill will offer better juice.


No more Snorting wine with a straw!

The headline read, "Twenty-One things we are learning to live without."

The article was obviously recession inspired. And, I'll admit; I was interested to see just how bad it had gotten for me. Was I living in a recession or was I wallowing in a depression?

I knew what all the "talking heads" thought, but here's the deal with those pie holes: They are still making the big bucks, with corporate health plans and big fat 401K plans.

And me? Well, not so much. I was not only missing all of the above; I was currently working for what I used to consider chump change.

It didn't take long to realize I'd have to change my drinking habits - gasp, choke!

Actually, that is a lie.

It took me far longer than was economically prudent. But then I think words like prudent, practical, and sober are words that apply to other people.

But it is tough to justify a forty dollar bottle of wine, especially when you practically snort it with a straw.

Why, oh why, did I have to get hooked on the "good stuff," when all along I could have been a Jack and Diet kind of gal?

So here it is... The first item noted on the list of things given up during these lean, and I use this term loosely, times, is Lattes.
Yeah, the old trip to Four bucks has taken a dive. More people are brewing their Joe at home. OK, I will give them that. But I think the real reason the coffee house numbers are down is that people are just sleeping in.

Why get all busy in the morning with no place to go?

The next item listed is extra calories. Now, hold up there, little buddy. Just who is giving up the extra calories?

My feelings and personal motto: When the times get tough, well, the chubbiest tend to get a bit chubbier.

Seriously, who eats less in times of economic stress? Recession-inspired pounds are a real thing.

This is how it works. I used to go to the grocery store and stock up on fresh veggies and lean meats.
But hey, that is pricey stuff. Hard to stay on your old wine budget, or any budget, when you're spending six bucks for fresh asparagus, right?

Giving up the "good stuff" (read: wine that can be swallowed without holding your breath) is tough when you're spending so much on healthy vittles.

But, and this is a tremendous butt I am working with here, friends; if you re-direct your grocery dollars and spend more wisely, your entertainment dollars will go much further. You'd be surprised at how many bags of Cheetos you can buy if you pass on the triple washed spinach and watercress.

The next item listed (drum roll please), was the gym. Hello, people! Just because I had given up the gym membership prior to this current economic meltdown does not mean I shouldn't get credit for proactive thinking, right? After almost two years to the day of paying the membership fee, yet never crossing the threshold, I came to my senses over a bag of frozen Cameo cookies. I spouted to all who would listen, "That's it! Don't you people know there's a possible recession lurking? We gotta hunker down, take cover. Cancel this costly gym membership."

So here I was scanning this list of 21 things I should have given up to ease into this bleak financial situation, and I found myself feeling pretty darn good.

I had already been doing my part. I had even given up things the article never mentioned.

For instance, I no longer use valet, unless it is raining. I now go 4.5 weeks between hair color appointments instead of four. I clip wine coupons. And before you start, there is no shame in using a coupon for wine or spirits. It's not like I'm hauling out my coupon wallet in the grocery store line, heaven forbid.

I no longer use curb side pick-up at my local OutBack. I recognized how much gas I was wasting, just idling, so now I park and walk inside.

Annoying yes, but the exercise is good for me.

So it is official now. I get it.

When they say, "Change is a coming," I can let them know I am doing my part.
Hey, I even undressed in the dark last night in honor of Earth Day.


Bird Flu and Peanut Butter Cups

I was born an optimist, but even still, I know there will be a few who won’t believe this… I have been so darn sick; I haven't even been able to drink wine! I know, I know. It was a good thing I'd been getting my fair share of the stuff before the plague set in. Don't know what I would have done otherwise. So here I lie, (remember self, people lie, items lay) too sick to lift my headie far off my pillow, surrounded by yummy 600 thread count sheets and finally, I have the beddy all to myself. If only I weren't feeling so crappy, I could enjoy this time. Deciding it was my only chance to reacquaint myself with that object referred to as the remote control and hogged by all the men in my life, I finally managed to locate the darn device from within the multiple layers of Egyptian cotton and down comforters and I pushed the button. I found myself watching Kirsty Alley in a new fat show.
OMG! She is a chubby again. Yes, her Plumpness (I am only loaning her my crown) has developed quite the um... Well you know- the girls’ got booty! Honestly, it wasn't that long ago when she was prancing around Oprah wearing a bikini, showing off her new and improved Jenny inspired torso. I'd have to guess that she must have gone directly home from that taping and started eating and just didn't stop. Fat Actress is back and Kirstie got the lead role. Geez, how come I didn't get a chance to audition? I coulda made a great fat actress. The first scene would be me, sick, lying in my fabulous bed, just opening up a goopy Reese’s peanut butter cup (I am sick remember?) and turning on this show about a former barkeep who now is sadly, just another fat actress. Ask me if I didn't feel just a little bit guilty about eating that peanut butter cup in bed while watching a show about a fat lady? Truthfully, for a minute or two I did feel a bit bad, but then I remembered you were supposed to feed a cold and starve a fever and since I'd just recently stuck my head in the freezer to get that frozen peanut butter cup, I was certain all signs of fever had left my body. Nope, it was now just a cold and a bad one at that. Time to call out the big guns, The boom-de-boom. Caution, you are now entering into the soft feathery gray area of my brain that was not completely Nyquil saturated. I startled at first, slowly coming to. My mind started to focus on the fact that I’d lived through another night of severe coughing and body aching. Without even opening my eyes, I did a quick inventory, just so I’d have the facts. Throat- still sore, gonna need something cold and creamy quick. Arms, legs, no numbness, they will stay attached. Ears, congested and popping, ass still fat. Reassured, I opened my eyes and quickly looked in the mirror. And immediately wished I had purchased the 10x instead of the 20x. I was certain some of those holes had not been there when I went to sleep! I was completely horrified. Somehow, while I was sleeping someone had come into my room and given me a haircut. I had a mullet like no other. Really, even the cleaning lady looked better- or shall I say hers looked like less of a mullet. This was serious. Maybe I had the H1N1 or the Nile virus or God forbid, could it be a strange version of Bird-like Flu? Whatever it was, it was bad. Something bad was wrong with me. I quickly jumped back into bed; got ready to swill a little more Nyquil (I gotta finish the bottle-right?) and then I heard it. It sounded like it was coming from behind me. It was faint at first, but quickly, I was sure of the message, "Self,don't forget,there are Reese's in the freezer." Go, run, and get your sick little self some peanut butter and chocolate. There, there. How we feeling now self?
Nothing feels better then chocolate peanut butter cups taste while nestled in your luxurious bed all by yourself- nothing.


Running with Wine

So, what do you think is up with everybody-everywhere exercising?

I mean, I just cannot get away from it. And it is starting to get me in a bad mood!

What is it with all these 5k races anyhow? And why don't these runners just stick to the truth?
When someone tells me they are running in a 5K race, I want to rip off my nice girl mask and smirk, "Why don't you just admit it, you are running 3.2 miles?"

Not that I don't think that anything over the length of a grocery aisle is a hike and you ought to pack an overnight bag for the trek, but I have to wonder, why now are you switching to kilometers?

I think they just say 5k because it sounds bigger, longer- right?

I mean, sure I get it, they are all for a good cause, but how come we can't just send a check, why do we have to get all sweaty?

I guess a better question may be why does this get on my nerves anyhow?

Two words... Catholic Guilt.

Here I sit- fat, dumb and happy enjoying some of life's guilty pleasures and then I hear that knock on the front door of my soul.
And like clockwork, I take the bait and reach over to see who is there, as if I had no idea and yep- you got it...The old Catholic Guilt is staring back at me with those big, sad disapproving brown eyes.

There is just no getting away from it. At some critical point in my developmental years, someone must have either scared the beejesus out of me or into me and now this guilt thing just shows up when I am least expecting it.

I feel so guilty that I am not running right beside those well intentioned individuals.

But you know something? In my mind's eye I am.

The difference is I have a box of Raisinets in my left hand and a glass of wine in my right.

Now even friends that I considered of little or no threat of ever getting up off their sofas have joined the race.

What happened to happy hour? That is what I want to know!

My peeps used to meet at the local watering hole and drown their sorrows, now they are getting high on sweat induced endorphins and swilling Gatorade.

And here I thought the good times would never end.

But determined to not be left behind, I got my running shoes on, you know the orthopedic shoes with the special arch support insert in them, yeah, those.

I donned my best looking zippy and pulled on my yoga pants (Yes. I am calling them that now) and I sort of pranced around the family room a bit, just to see if I still "had it".

Assured that I did indeed still have what it takes, I opened my front door and breathed in deeply the fresh air and walked mind you, I did not drive, out to my mail box and I picked up all the little goodies my mailman left- lifting them high into the air pressing to the left and then the right to get a good stretching motion, back and forth with my knees bent.

Believe me this was not easy. The mail was a little heavy because the terra cotta garlic baker I'd been waiting for had arrived!

Now excited for my next meal, I skipped back up the walk and threw myself down onto the sofa, exhausted, but feeling good.

I felt like one of the "in" crowd, one of the good guys.

So what if I don't have any special charity attached to my mini K walk- at least I got up off the sofa and did something.

Who knows? Maybe by tomorrow I will be ready to walk the block.



If you give a girl a cookie...

If you give a girl a cookie, will she take a bite? This is my newest observational quest.

How many times have you been to a party or luncheon, taken one look at the food being served and thought to yourself, "Self, how much of a commotion will I make, if I shove the entire plate of three layer chocolate chip cookie cake into my purse?"

Or, how about when you spy an enormous bowl of sweet marshmallowy fluff crap and seriously think, "I need to be alone with this stuff."

Here's the problem. I will take one look at the offering and nervously chuckle to the OC wannabe housewives around me, "Gee, that looks delicious. Think anyone will notice if I take the platter into the bathroom?"

The looks I get. You'd have thought I looked like an escapee from Jenny Craig.

I just want to say, "Pipe down there and open wide, try a bite."

Shouldn't there be some sort of cut-off for anorexia?
Say by the time you hit forty, if you haven't yet reached your "goal" weight, shouldn't you try to focus on a hobby instead?

I am not saying go hog wild, but seriously ladies, someone went to a lot of trouble to bake up all those mini chocolate eclairs, shouldn't we at least eat them?

That is why I have always chosen my friends carefully.

There is nothing that bugs me more than to be with a group of my friends, order up the Nachos Grande and hear comments like "You're not going to eat that crap, are you?"

I'm just going to put it out there, ladies, if you cannot hang with the guacamole and sour cream crowd, step aside!

But there is no doubt in my mind that some foods are just better when eaten alone.

Take Cheetos, for example.

The perfect Cheetos setting would be an empty house, a TV with extended cable and a working remote control. Add a sippy cup with Jack and diet and nothing, or no one else.

If that makes me a man, so be it.

Because I am telling you, the minute you start sharing that bag of Cheetos, the annoyance factors start setting in.

While you may find all that orange pixie dust charming on your finger tips, it becomes downright annoying when someone else is wearing it and dipping their hands into your bag of Cheetos!


Your Plumpness, I Presume

It is very possible that I ate my zip code in calories this past weekend. That is the chief reason I am going to grab up my brand spanking new I-pod and head to that place they call a gym.
Really, I am really going this time. I can hardly live with myself in this current state of mind and body.

So now the mystery is solved. This really is what the Chubbers do when the fat pants stick to their thighs. I use the word "chubbers" because it conjures up a vision of plumpness. Someone pretty, but on the, well, plump side. Never mind that the technical term at the local MD's office would read, "Obese".  I am choosing to use the term plumpness.

You may now refer to me as, "Your Plumpness."  I like it. It has the ring of royalty.  I can just hear my worker bees  addressing my commands, "Yes, Her Plumpness, how can we serve?"  Here's the deal. I am certain that if I had any little worker bees they'd already have an affectionate term for me, one to signify my exalted rank. Something like, "Yes, your fat ass, what now?”

Well, no one ever said it would be easy. You just can’t please all the people, so why not make sure that you yourself are well pleased?

So now, I am off to that big box down the road. I am forcing myself to act happy, remembering that no one likes a bad mood fatty. If you are going to be in a bad mood in public--fine, but you’d better look the part. Otherwise, the names are going to be flying.
Picture a “Heather” if you will, and now picture her in a bad mood. You will think to yourself, “Damn, she is such a snooty one.”  But at the same time, you may admire her hair or perhaps her fabulous shoes and offer some sort of silent approval.
Now picture an angry big girl. Yeah, I think a picture is not even necessary, but if you insist: She is wearing flip-flops and they are purple plastic. She has breasts that are somewhat exposed and not exactly where they should be as witnessed by the tattoo of the butterfly that now looks more like a Manatee. She is usually chewing gum or chewing on something objectionable, and she is in a really bad, snotty, snippy mood.

So, tell me. What are you thinking to yourself?

 I’ll say it for you.  First off, you will want to look away, but you won’t because there is a certain fascination with the whole thing. You will just have to see how the “other side” lives, and it will quickly become apparent that conflict resolution was not the last class Miss Piggy took at the junior college. Another thought that will cross your mind: chigger bugs. They seem to be far more attracted to the chubby ones. 

The whole episode will be distasteful.

And you will slowly back away from the scene, dumping the Cameo cookies and Cheetos out of your shopping cart, and running as fast as your thunder thighs will take you in the direction of the tuna isle.


Make mine goopy.

"Get me something really goopy," I instructed my daughter. "Think about what you would order if you were on a diet and then do the exact opposite."

If you're wondering, "What the heck is goopy?" It's anything you shouldn't be eating, but are going to anyway. Oh, and with real, true goopy, you eat it all. In other words, you can't be some dainty little skinny thing and have eaten two cookies and called that goopy. Nope, real goopy eaters have killed for less and always finish the full sleeve.

This food group offers a sugar filled high and toe curling sensation. Like when you drive by the local Krispy Kreme and the "Hot Donuts Now" sign is flashing, and you weave through three lanes of traffic crashing your car, all in your quest to, "Get you some."

Usually, women understand this concept better than men. I have tested this theory on my hubby. He was making the grocery run and, I told him, "Get me something good, something - you know, goopy." He offered a blank stare and said, "Ok, but what is goopy?" Irritated that I have been married to this guy for two decades and he still has to ask me what goopy means, I said, "I think you know exactly what it is, so don't pretend you don't know and make me say it." "SOMETHING GOOD," I bellowed, "good and goopy."

He came back with fresh Florida oranges, crackers, cheddar cheese and a single hersey bar. I spit on the oranges and crushed the box of crackers. Grabbing the Hersey bar and shaking it in the air I cried, "This is it? I asked for goopy, and you brought home a single serving chocolate bar"? Some men, they just don't get goopy at all.


Oxymorons and Pant Suits

I am beginning to think that there is no better place to get your bloggie material than on NBC's Today show. Especially when Ann Curry is leading the charge!

In a single morning, I heard someone tell Ann, "I think bears in the wild are far safer than bears kept in captivity." Ann went on to quickly assure her viewers that NBC did not necessarily think it was a good idea to contact wild bears.

And then Ann asked her viewers if they thought it was possible that they carried the "fat gene." The fat gene? I am thinking every woman has at least one pair of fat jeans, although not in white. No, white - fat jeans are just wrong. It is like saying "Jumbo shrimp" or as I used to say back in the Clinton era, "President Clinton". It is, you know, one of them there- oxymorons. Although I have to say, I am a little ashamed of how terribly Republican I used to be. I now totally heart Bill Clinton. And Hillary, don't get me started. While I take full responsibility for starting the term, "Event dressing," Hillary certainly gets the credit for the "Pantsuit." And actually, if you really want my opinion, the whole idea of the "pant suit" is a little gross, don't you think? I mean just think about the words, pant & suit together- it even sounds hot. And I don't mean hot in a good way, I mean hot like sweating right through your Spanx sort of hot. But on the other hand, if you are wearing a pant suit and you are not wearing your Spankies- shame on you. That is just wrong for the rest of us that have to view you from behind.

Anyhow, getting back to the subject at hand, there really wasn't one, was there? This is something my daughter warned me about. She said, "You tend to ramble and no one knows what you are talking about". Really? Well then. Back to fat genes- genes with a G. The question raised was, "Could you be carrying the fat gene?" I dunno. Let me look real quick. After carefully reviewing the situation and little consideration, I'd say there is a better than not chance that I am carrying that gene. I don't think further testing will be necessary. Save your research dollars folks and put those calipers down, we got a certified carrier right here. And Ms Curry, who if you ask me will have trouble spelling the word fat without getting that sad little, "Oh, how can we help these people" look on her sweet little Asian face, will ask her resident expert, "What can we do as non- carriers of this genetic abnormality for our friends and family that are afflicted"? She'll give that earnest look, the one that says, "If I just eat it for you, will that help"? And then she will hug her expert, secretly thinking, "Thank God, I do not suffer from this terrible, terrible disorder".