I picked the wrong week to stop drinking

Imagine, if you will, a computer system that takes on all the characteristics of an unmedicated schizophrenic.  That’s what I got to deal with at work.  All week.   Everyday there was a new episode to deal with.  Sometimes it was up.  Sometimes it was down.  And there were even times when I compared it to a wounded animal: alive, but not moving (i.e. I can access information, but it refuses to talk to other components).  Our boss described it by saying our servers were conjoined twins.  One of the twins died, hence the living hell I’ve been in.  When your entire field revolves around a computer and you have to go back to pencil and paper, things get crazy, especially when it’s a 3 person job and it’s just you.  And the phone calls.  I love talking to upset people on the phone.  Especially when I can’t do anything. “Can’t you just look it up?” they plead.  “No, because when I attempt to log into my system it says I do not have any user functions.”  And they still yell at me.  Look, honey, I’d love to help you but I can’t see the orders you have listed.  In fact, I have about 2 hours worth of work looking at me that I have to do one by one and oh, there’s another unhappy camper on the other line waiting to yell at me after you do.  It’s really hard to get work done at all when you’re constantly on the phone defending yourself and the poor IT guy who’s furiously trying to figure out why the mainframe crashed for no apparent reason.  YES WE ARE WORKING ON THE PROBLEM.  It’s harder for me, I actually have to do all the work.  You just look at pretty spreadsheets.

Like I said, I picked the wrong week to stop drinking.

My lack of R-OH is two fold: the main reason is to fast from alcohol to hear from God about our next steps in life – I want to go one way, The General wants to head in the other.  And so we wait to hear from Him.  I’ve never fasted before and my Bible study leader spoke of how she fasted from certain things she enjoyed when she was preparing for mission trips or waiting to hear something.  Interesting concept.  The other, more shallow reason, is to keep my body in shape.  Alcohol is a lot of empty calories and they usually end up somewhere around my mid-section (never the boobs for some reason).  It’s not that I had a problem or anything, I am the quintessential cheap date; I don’t drink large quantities nor do I use it as an escape.  It’s up there with nutella.  I enjoy it.  A lot.  A glass of wine after a hard night at work is a way to unwind and take the edge off.  There is the rare occasion where Captain Morgan and I will go off dancing into the night…..but that’s another story all together.

I plan to break the month and a half fast by toasting my family on Thanksgiving, as my entire side of the family is coming to North Carolina to celebrate – Mom, Dad, my little sister, and her boyfriend.  If the Lord says to keep my fast, I will.

The fast had been a piece of cake until this week — stress at work, lots of great moments with friends — and I couldn’t have a drink.  I’ve been sipping green tea instead, which is awesome. It’s soothing, it has antioxidants, and I can have multiple cups of it without worrying about how I’ll feel the next morning.  I’m working Cucalorus this year — the big film fest in Wilmington — which usually involves a lot of social drinking for me.  Not this year.  I can’t decide if I’m going to ask for water neat or a Shirley Temple.

This inconvenience that I have placed on myself goes much beyond the situational.  If by giving this up – for however long – allows me to hear God more clearly it will be time well spent.  A part of me wonders what if this fast is all for naught?  What if nothing changes one way or the other?  What if we get an answer clear as day….?  One of us will have to fold.  And I guess that’s where He comes in.

From Streams in the Desert, author not credited:

Child of my love, lean hard
And let Me feel the pressure of your care
I know your burden, child
I shaped it.
I balanced it in Mine Own hand
Made no proportion in its weight to your unaided strength
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,
This burden will be Mine, not hers.
So I will keep my child within the circling arms of my love.”
Here lay it down
Nor fear to impose it on a shoulder that upholds the government of the worlds
Yet closer come:
You are not near enough.
I would embrace your care
So I might feel My child reclining on My breast.
You love Me, I know.
So then do not doubt;
But loving Me, lean hard.

Irene, you’re all talk and no action

image

This picture sums up the hurricane thus far. It’s a Cat 2 alright, but a sleepy one at that. Lame. Here I am thinking that losing my hurricane v card was going to be a wild ride with sideways rain, airborne trees, and power outages. So far its been me watching Jurassic Park (hadn’t seen it since it was in theatres, circa 5th grade), drinking wine, tea, talking to my General who’s running the battle plan at work. The power hasn’t even flickered. Hurricane? I’ve weathered worse storms in the shower.

The worst part is suppose to hit in about 2 hours and I plan to be awake, hoping to catch some of the action.

The storm door out front came loose and was banging with random wind gusts. Scared the daylight out of me. And Katie.

I think I need another glass of wine. 

Her name was Irene….and she was my 1st

It’s official: I will lose my hurricane virginity this weekend to Irene, a Cat 3 that seems to be leaning more west than east as she had been.

I managed to avoid the storm team at work this year, so I’ll be toasting Irene with a bottle of zinfandel.  By myself.  The General got stuck on the storm team.  I feel better being at home for this, just in case a long leaf pine decides it wants to come inside via a window for some wine.  We haven’t boarded anything up – we’re 5 miles as the crow flies from the Atlantic.  Last year when a storm dumped 18 inches of rain in 3 days we didn’t have a puddle on our property, so I’m hoping that was a good omen.

I need to get gas in my car.  Outside of that, I got food here and a firepit out back just in case the electricity goes out.

Today has been awesome.  Started the morning with surfing – epic waves from pre-Irene – and I actually left to go home because I was tired and the wax was starting to come off my board from overuse!  I had this big smile on my face all morning — so stoked!  I’m cleaning up a bit around here and cooking tomorrow’s dinner (as soon as I get off the computer)  and then I’m heading downtown with Charlotte for sushi and then we’re meeting up with Samantha for martinis.  And Cucalorus is just around the corner – heading over there to get the info on volunteering this year.  Rock on!

Here I am, Irene.  Rock me like a hurricane.

An awesome weekend (besides the work part)

I ate and drank like I was a sailor on shore leave this weekend.  And I’m not apologizing.

There’s nothing quite like spending a Friday night on a deserted beach, drinking wine out of travel coffee mugs (illegally) with 2 very awesome friends, talking and laughing about random stuff.

This weekend was Mirandapalooza, as Miranda returned to the Port City for Azalea Fest – we had a blast!  We went on the garden tour; I was slightly disappointed there were not more eye candy in terms of plants.  It was all very nice, but very plain.  I have big plans for my yard, and if I want to be on the 2025 Garden Tour, I need to get started.

It started with mimosas at 1030 and ended that night with 2 empty wine bottles and polishing off the rest of the champagne from the morning.  I wasn’t drunk, but I certainly could not have driven a car.

The Sex and the City girls ride again!

And then were was that work part.  Luckily, it was cut short by muscadine wine and more Miranda/Samantha/Charlotte time!  Sweet.

The oddest thing: I looked at the pictures of me from  the weekend, and despite the fact I lost weight (maybe it was all the M&Ms I consumed this weekend?), my face looks really fat.  Like I have chipmunk cheeks.  I don’t know if it’s my weight or just my German facial features and my ridiculously deep set eyes.  I hate pictures of myself.

More adventures are on the horizon in terms of painting and roadtrips and friends and family and oh my!

The adventures are never ending here, just how I like it 🙂

Sex Is Great & Wine Is Fine, OMG I’m 29

I turned 29 on Friday and it’s just been downhill (health wise) ever since: a crown I got right after college has suddenly decided it’s not happy hanging out in my upper jaw and the pain is to the point where I can’t close my jaw all the way.  I never take OTC pain meds, but even naproxin – I fly on this stuff – didn’t cut the pain.  I got a cold (more about that in a moment), a flu shot, and a goose egg on my head all in the past week.  I’m running slower.  I’m not old!  What is going on?  My General is in his 4th decade of life and is fairing better than myself.  I certainly hope it’s just a phase, because it’s going to be pretty sad if I can’t keep up with him.

My 29th b-day was freakin’ awesome.  I started the morning with a 5k run, hung out with my amazing husband before he went to work, and relaxed.  Then I poured myself a big glass of Scuppernog Blush (a muscadine wine) and sat on my back porch, taking in the beautiful autumn afternoon with Katie (my calico kitty) and Jesus.  Yes, I got a wine buzz during my quiet time.  It was so awesome!

I also made myself a birthday cake with a twist.  I am a conglomerate of different things, so I thought I would project that into a cake.  It was a 3 layer cake: Funfetti, Chocolate Fudge, and Red Velvet connected together with vanilla frosting.  Sounds promising, right?  Well, I have no formal training in stacking a cake and this fact soon became quite obvious.  I didn’t shape the layers before I slapped them together.  The cake had a bit of an arc, and the sides didn’t match up — my cake was muffin-topping itself.  Unlike mudding drywall, adding more frosting to the gaps did not help.  Then the next morning it cracked down the middle from the weight of a arc (can’t tell I’m the daughter of a mechanical engineer, can you?)  It just added character: “Blest are cracked, for they let in the light.”  In the past few days, the cake has sunk further in on itself.  Despite the F+ grade on presentation, the cake tasted amazing, if I do say so myself.

My friends Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda (not their real names, but we decided we each exhibit personality qualities from the Sex and the City girls minus the sexual promiscuity) went out for a night downtown Wilmington.  It was filled with random stories and lots of laughter.  I needed that after a week of work hell.  If looking for a fun place to eat, check out the The Little Dipper and ask for their a la carte menu. Super cheap and very yummy fondue – may I suggest the chocolate kiss martini?  I could have had a whole make-out session, so good and worth $9.  They had some basic rules for the fondue virgins, but they added their own rule:

A Little Dipper rule to remember – if the food falls off your fondue fork while cooking in the pot, you must kiss the person beside you or buy them a drink!

Miranda, who had a cold, was sitting to my right.  We kept joking about it and how I was going to get sick.  I had a near-miss with some bread in the cheese (omg, the Chedder Ale fondue was AMAZING!!!), but thankfully there was no kissing and since Miranda rocked it out as the DD, buying more drinks wasn’t an option. In any case, my throat is on fire and my nose is stuffy.  I swear I have a fever, even tho my temp is 36.1 C.  It’s hell when you get old.

We hit up a upscale bar downtown, The Calico Room. I got a free glass of wine, and we saw Sophia Bush from One Tree Hill with her boyfriend.  It was even more ironic for me because I am watching the series on DVD and spent most of the early  morning watching her as Brooke.  She looks so different without the perfect lighting and make-up, but still a very beautiful woman.  I was a bit starstruck.  That party wined down quickly, so we left for Pravda, a Russian bar downtown that has incredible lemon drops.  It was quite the club scene, everyone got their groove on (I was too sober to get on the dance floor)!  I got asked, a couple of times, no one seemed to notice my huge engagement ring.  I politely declined.  On the way back to the car, groups of guys standing outside commented on our beauty every time we passed. Heehee.  We make one hot group, that’s for sure!

Proof I’m getting old?  I put on my blouse to go out and decided to put a tank top underneath it because it was so low cut.

Outside of the aches and pains of an aging body, turning 29 has been wonderful!

It’s going to be an awesome year.

Search & Destroy – The Epic Battle of Drosophila melanogaster

Forget Star Wars.  Or Lord of the Rings.

I had the most epic battle scene in my house and I did not have a film crew on hand.

The past week has brought 20″ of rain to our region in 4 days.  With it being so yucky outside, we hadn’t been real good about taking out our compost bin under the sink.  I opened it the other day and let about 10 fruit flies out.  As soon as the weather broke, I was going out there.

Well, as we’re preparing for our flight to Illinois by cleaning up the kitchen, The General sneaks up behind me to put our tea bags into the compost bin.  Before I could scream, “Noooooo!” in slow motion, just like what I’m sure opening the Ark of the Covenant could only unleash, a CLOUD of fruit flies aka Drosophila melanogaster flies out in my kitchen.

The General released ~300 fruit flies.  In my house.  Oh.  My.  God.

So we went on a search and destroy mission.

The General was ordered by yours truly to go to the store and buy the cheapest Riesling wine he could find. (How embarrassing to have guests over and nothing to offer!)

I grabbed the only tool I could think of: a vacuum cleaner.  With the hose attachment, I was able to suck up tons of enemy troops with my VMD (vacuum of mass destruction).  The General laughed at me, but it was effective.

We left for the Cornfields of Illinois and returned to what I would I would call sweet victory: all 4 wine glasses were covered in dead fruit flies and after another round of VMD warfare, the fruit fly population in my house is at acceptable levels.  I’m hoping the few left behind find that glass of Riesling soon.

This trumps The Riesling Incident by astronomical proportions.

Final Score:
The General’s Wife: 280
Drosophila melanogaster: 20

The Riesling Incident

Maybe it was from the compost bin under the sink.  Maybe it was from keeping our screened-in porch door open for the cats.  Perhaps it was from the bananas that sat on the sink for awhile.  In any case, we had fruit flies in our kitchen.  I only saw 2, so I decided to set out my fruit fly trap.

While my aunt swears by apple cider vinegar with soap in it, I don’t have any apple cider vinegar on hand.   Since my parents were here, and being mostly of German ancestry, I did have a large amount of Riesling – a German white wine.  So I poured my unwelcomed house guests a glass of wine.

And it worked.

I don’t feel so bad about letting them drown in wine.  I mean, there are worse ways to go than face down in a good white wine.

Figuring I would only catch the couple hanging around the kitchen, I was wrong.  Within a day, as show, I  had  7.  3 days later, I had 17.  The General ended up throwing out my little wine party because he was getting grossed out by the massive amount of Drosophila melanogaster in the wine.  There are still a few buzzing around the kitchen.  They, too, will fall under the Riesling’s spell.   Bwahahahahaha!!