All Talk And All Unfiltered

I shot a gun once. In a controlled environment, but I did it. I first said no, became shy of the idea and wanting to understand why these feelings were coming up in my chest. The sight of it sitting on a table frightened me, so why would I want to use it. I received instruction, I cried a bit, body shaking, focused and let go. That is the best way to describe it. It was a feeling of desperation, release, and complete power that I’m here to admit – I enjoyed and could do again.

I try to use my presence as my power, and in my 40’s, have tried to use my words just as much. But even holding a weapon was alluring; the thought that I could do nothing with my mind or persona yet be influential. Yes, it thrilled me, and then emptied my soul. My consciousness won and made me realize that I can’t control that kind of control, nor have the desire to give any effort. Target practice is not worth the high.

How can I now go on to write flowery images of wine? Even before this blog, I was dealing with news of a death, sadness, a little broken heart, a little weight gain – I’m not going on. I’m feeling selfish that I think of how MY world is effecting me, but that is what lays in my lap. I have a new job, a failed relationship, a market work day with a winery representative haunting my crappy planning, and a pressing waist line. That is what I see when I look in the mirror, and it’s not pretty. Add to that an upset stomach every time my innocent nephew walks out the door to go to school, or the fact that grocery shopping could be my last breath on this earth.

I know we aren’t giving up, but we can be sad for a moment as well. But wake up, put on your party dress, and get out the door – there are things to do, and there are ways to be happy.

I’m not giving you a review, I’m not selling a damn thing to you in this blog. I’m here to show you my happy moments. To share with you how I am FORCING myself into a joyous life. Do I do this with wine; sure. Not to get drunk and forget, but to learn and savor someone else’s passion, history, and love for what they do.

And I want to blog, but I’m not in the mood. There is a lot to say, but I got to think about it all first. I’ll let you look at pretty pictures. Pictures are my golden ring, my tooth under the pillow, my first kiss. They wrap me back up in what I think may have happened. Maybe they can shed a little honey and butterflies on your day as well.

While writing this, I received a text trying to pull me back into drama; is it drama if you have created it? It’s going to constantly happen, but just be ready. The text made me dive in at first; a little racing in my chest, my thoughts swimming on how to be witty, reflections appeared on my pillow. This is what I want, this is what I want, this is what I want. But then, vacant. So, who, in the end, is the looser? More on that soon.

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Armour Of The Vulnerable Wine Mind

Can you direct me into what I should desire right now – because I’m confused.

This goes for life and wine. In my mind, I have organized a check list of qualities, attributes, “what am I getting back” (let’s be honest, if I’m not winning then why be in it), back door escapes from bad decisions – all to lead me to benefiting from desires, wanting, and working towards the greater good in my life. I’ve mastered the brick wall against vulnerability – to my demise.

Let’s look at a definition, shall we?

vul·ner·a·bil·i·ty

  1. the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

I’ve dated and married men out of my race and/or religion, I’ve traveled the world with little money or focus, I’ve had great jobs and lost great jobs, I’ve gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, probably had a small drinking problem – all to avoid being vulnerable – or to put myself in a complete vulnerable state. In the end, I still have no idea what to desire, or if all that crap was worth it. Is it the “being attacked” part that I am trying to dodge and weave from? Then there is that “harm” word – who the hell wants that in their life?

For instance, I believed, and was told, I should like this:

Classic Napa Valley Cab, right? Is the American palate so boring that we simply accept voluptuous and gobby depictions of California fruit? Do we, as consumers, search out the wines that won’t offend, but generously lay on our palates like wool blankets? I don’t mean to be crass, and kudos to Freemark Abbey for their continued pursuit at being a stand out in iconic wines from Napa: I’m here to tell you – eh (and shrug of shoulders, pursed lips, furrowed brow). California was known for highlighting the art of the grape, the “specialness” of a wine of place, a celebration of winemaker’s outlook and artistry – are we still there, are we vulnerable to 2019, has the consumer attack on our silent mind of creativity dulled our passion?

Whew – sorry about that rant. I’m just confused on where to go with my own palate, and how colleagues judge my wine direction at the moment. I watch as lesser developed palates taste my wine (by the way, not putting down the wine taster/buyer/judger/want to be – we are all babes in the woods at one point. Keep at it) and watch as their faces get perplexed. I know the wonder of “am I supposed to like this” looms in the room. Not all grapes you drink SHOULD be a noble grape (Cab, Merlot, Chardonnay – the usual suspects), and you are not cheating on your Sauvignon Blanc if you try another white varietal out. For example:

  • Anares, Terra Nova, Verdejo – a white grape varietal grown in the Rueda region of Spain. Looking for an alternative to Pinot Grigio? You just found it. Flavors of peach, melon, balanced acidity, enjoyable to the last sip. Simple yet not simple, enjoyed with just about anything at a meal, Sauvignon Blanc -ish but better.
  • Cartuxa, Eugenio de Almeida “EA”, Roupeiro/Antao Vaz/Arinto Blend – ok, what? Portuguese wines are not just oxidized port my friends. This blend has beautiful tropical flavors, stunning acidity, Myer lemon and tangerine peel notes, while retaining a medium body and pleasant structure. Sure it’s weird and maybe off the beaten track – don’t you just love a palate surprise?

Listen, I’m sorry if I offended anyone with my Freeemark Abbey hate; I’m being a hard ass on Cali wines, and picked that one from the bunch I’ve tasted lately. Maybe it’s a thought that, as wine drinkers, we are using Cali as our tasting ruler. And I understand that, and can appreciate that a consumer measurement can exist. I don’t want vulnerability – in wine OR in life. Can I avoid it though? Can I grow without it? Am I sacrificing a deeper scoop of my soul by sidestepping it? And what have I left in the past because of the chance of harm from this feeling? Can I suggest a direction in wine for you – sure I can. Can I suggest how to evade facing your true desires – hell yeah I can. Both are confusing, delightful for the moment, fading, and don’t do YOU justice. Is it where I am living now? What do you think?

There Is A Knot In My Stomach, But A Different Wine In My Glass

“Too bad you never grew a pair”

“I’m tired of hearing how you are the victim”

“Go ahead and blog about this” (rolling eyes)

Yes, we all get judged. We also do the judging. Am I a victim or am I the one laying out the bullshit? That line is blurred, and that line has been crossed many times. I think I’m here now to face commentary and criticism – and maybe it’s time we all did. The above texts are real, painful to type out in this blog, and even more painful to review at their source. They come from confusion, from abandoned conversations, and omitted confessions. All done with purpose, possibly to injure the soul, and to leave a burned mark in my brain. Success for you dear reader/lover/hater/friend/maybe-friend/cynic – whatever costume you wear right now. I wish I could erase your Susan Reflections, but, alas, here you are.

I’m surprised at the control words have. I thought, just for a second, that maybe my blog, and a little of my self worth, was a silly waste of time. Maybe my “voice” was that of a poser, imposter, want-to-be wine goddess. Maybe I use this as an excuse for many things in my life. Further investigation into this dilemma leads me to the verdict – YEAH I DO! I need help and I need help now. I’m facing speculation on what I can deliver every day – and judgement continues and continues. How the heck can anyone balance that? How can anyone survive that? Well, let me tell you, any way you can.

My attempt at balance is not taking myself so seriously. And yes, I am a girl that remembers the wine coolers of the 80’s. I’m not a mixologist, don’t really want to be bothered with that, but do love a cocktail. Thank you Sandara for this wine/mojito goodness. I’ll see you on the beach this summer….https://sandarauniverse.com/en/

Then there are times when I take myself very seriously. I love the study of grape varietals – what makes up their personality, what is their origin, what makes them sing. Grapes like Riesling – so misunderstood and loved in a weird misconceived manner. (read into that if you like) When you are from Germany, to dig deeper, located in the Nahe region of Germany, we can be friends. Aromatic, off dry, almost “Muscadel” in style, juicy, slightly restrained, and made by a freaky dude from Tesch Vineyards, now we are besties. The valleys of the Nahe’s tributaries help foster diverse microclimates, while the rocky foothills to the east help retain heat and moderate rainfall. This grape can not fail. Sure, you can pick up a lovely from the Mosel, but this style reaches out to a different place in me – a different expression that begs me to return.

Love your many faces, and don’t apologize for them. However, know that they are looming, and can pop out when you are backed up against a wall, or are feeling all the feels. Practice “active observation” (thank you shine text), and maybe shut your mouth before you get into a dicy situation. Or don’t – that’s where this gets interesting. That is where your risk will be, but that is where your release will also be. I’m still thinking about you – dear reader/lover/hater/friend/maybe-friend/cynic – and sure, sucks that we can’t figure out a normal human experience. But, my journey continues – new experiences with new wines, new ideas about simple and arduous forms of nature, and how I perceive them.

A Letter To Food And Wine – Do We Need To Break Up?

Hate is a hideous and an unforgiving word. You can’t come back from that.

But food and wine – you let me down.

I bet on you. Not only that, I studied you for years, screamed your name, stayed up nights crying over you, over indulged in your glory, lost relationships because of your conniving nature – in the end, did really bad things just for your approval.

It hasn’t always been a honeymoon, but we had it good for awhile. You made me who I am in a way; teaching me to speak up, have an opinion even if it isn’t popular, combine the artist and the analytic, and to find the humor in the fact that no one really gets me. I guess that is what comfort really means – hence the “comfort food” imagery consistently thrown out to make us feel better about devouring a plate of mac and cheese. We had amenity together – held hands through it all. I was content and flourished with you at my side – total team moment.

But listen, we gotta fix this relationship. Just because you impress the notion that I will be “ok” in your glory doesn’t mean you can take advantage of me. I got your number, even if it took me up until now to realize we aren’t good together. I need you, I get it, but I don’t feel you need me.

Here is the beaten down girl moment; I realize this is my fault. I let you in without any hesitation or concern. I didn’t have a long term idea of what a goal with you really means. I saw it going bad and not only didn’t stop it, but did everything to hasten our untimely departure from one another. There were no boundaries and no concern of my health. I allowed peers to inform me I wasn’t “what they are looking for”, or that there is “another plan out there” for me. You are my plan, you are my intention for all things good in my life, and I’m not walking away empty handed.

As the responsible adult I am, I refuse to shame you. Trust me, I hold myself back every day, and wonder if social media is not the outcome of situations like this. I have the ability to report all of your unseemly stories – don’t forget, I know where the bodies are buried. (I always loved that analogy) But my future beckons, and in the end, nothing comes from sour story telling.

Good comes from different ways of thinking, doing, socializing, working, not working, and being. Good comes from me flipping the coin and seeing your good side. It’s not going to be easy – I’m already in a state of panic. But I’ve put in my time, and I’m REALLY GOOD at managing our stained past. I’m not asking for favors, leads, or a wink of approval from you. You can give that to the one that flirts and uses their “relationship” history better than I ever will. I am raw, naked in a way, but wearing an amour. No more sitting in the board room listening – I’m ready to run the show.

To celebrate, we won’t eat cake. The bottle staring at me on my desk will not get opened. My kitchen will be clean of cheese and puff pastry, as well as my dance card of wine dinners and bar crawls. I may loose some friends, but they probably weren’t the best choice of allies in the first place. (How many have called to say hello? Betcha you answered that quickly…)

But don’t fret – I’m still here and still curious. I AM that girlfriend you can’t get rid of. I’ll answer the questions and ask the questions and figure out all the answers. I’m still going to write about you, read about you, watch you on social media (on occasion), and try to completely take advantage of the good nature that resides somewhere deep in your soul. Don’t believe I am at ease from my blogs, posts, texts, pictures – they are just smoke and mirrors. I am looking for a deeper connection. We can have a deeper connection.

I forgot something – wait for the comeback.

—– my journal, January 1, 2019