Okay, so while it is true that I am the General Manager of The Wine Country, as well as the French wine buyer…fancy no? Yeah well along with those lofty titles I have the added bonus of bathroom attendant when it’s needed…hooray me. It’s not an official title, and it is something we all kinda jump in and do but, seems like I always end up being the one that, “finds” the mess that needs attending, just lucky like that I guess.
So I’m all for solidarity and what not, I’m down for the sista’s and all but dude…..what the hell happens to you lovely ladies when you walk into a public restroom?! You walk in, all dolled up, smelling like a meadow, oh and can we talk about that too…y’all stank, for the love of all that is holy, can you please save the smelly goo until after the tasting? Miss. Shalimar….you have clearly been wearing that dreadful stuff too long, it has destroyed your filter…you my dear wreak to high heaven, sorry but somebody had to say it…you walk in looking like a million bucks and leave the tinkle-la-torium looking like a prison cell…wtf?!
I’m a chick, I know all the nasty business that goes on, it’s gross, I get it but do you have to let the rest of know it’s “that time of the month”…I assure you, we’re not curious. Germs are an issue for many of you, while I don’t get it I am sympathetic, but can you not just like double up on the seat liners? Must you hover over the wizzer and leave yer…er, um..mark?! You’re gonna wash your hands like a surgeon anyway, why not gather your wiz papers and then wash? Yuck.
Cannot tell you what it is like in there after a busy tasting, seriously ladies…I always think about that guy, the one that looks like he just hit the lotto when he walks out with the heavily perfumed, hair sprayed stumbler that over enjoyed her first wine tasting, yes she is lovely, yes she is feeling all loose and frisky and yes she just left a poo smear on the ladies room toitty, enjoy yer delicate flower dude....score!
So in two very long days, my dear son, Jeremy will be home. He has completed his Sophomore year at Uof L but being that he has like a job and a house to pay rent on and some stuff, he cannot stay all summer...pout. No matter, I will spend every second I can with the young man, that without his knowing (at the time) changed my life...cured my cranial aninal inversion, and taught an eighteen year old, that some things, are in fact worth fighting for....no matter how painful.
I found out I was "with child" when I was 5 months pregnant, Jeremy was born 2 months later...that'll light a fire under yer ass I assure you. When he was born he weighed 3 pounds, was not breathing and had a mother that had no idea what to do...no job, no money, a mother that was not speaking to me and a man in my life that was....well, let's just say he was NOT very nice to me. After Jeremy, my mother came around and adored him above all others, I found out that my feelings were not the most important and I had this little person, this tiny fighter that spent a month in the hospital fighting to be here...with me, I found my bite, and my heart and have never looked back.
I love wine, I love playing, I love my friends and my husband, but this....this is my biggest true love, and I could not be more proud of the man that he is becoming, my baby.
The silence of my home this afternoon left me alone with my thoughts, the quiet sounds of the world outside doing little to pull me out of my head, little to stop the flashing scenes…my memories of you dropping before me like faded snapshots landing on the coffee table. My mind stained with the very real, intense remembrance of my all too brief time with you, my heart pounding when I close my eyes and let myself remember your smell, a smell unlike any other I had known…and a smell that has replaced my idea of what eroticism means….September
It is horrible for me when I begin to think of you, us, that night, the night I had you to myself for the first time….the way I had let myself think about it, but was sure it would never be, just thinking about that night and I become consumed, lost in a hedonistic swirl of aroma and faded snapshots……September
I busy myself with the chores of real life, wiping the counters, cleaning the floors, but in my feverish scrubbing of dusty corners and titillating memories, I find myself once again, short of breath with beads of sweat rolling down my back. I let my teeth dig into my bottom lip and long for a way to rid myself of this power you have, long for a cloth powerful enough to wash myself clean of you. My body grows tired, as if the mere aching, remembering and longing is draining every ounce of resistance, resilience and strength…..yet I still, miss you.
No matter how far away you are, how many months pass, for me….you are the single sexiest, debilitating memory, aroma, flavor that I have ever had. Clos Rougeard Saumur Blanc ($64.99) cannot wait until…..September.
So I got home last night, settled into my after work, chill state and I got the call, "You wanna meet us at the horses?" took me a second to figure out what the hell Amy was talking about...it was opening day at Santa Anita, and Amy and her hubby, (Sexy Bitch for those that don't remember) were feelin' the pull. Now there I was, sipping on a glass of
could have, should have stayed home, but....I had never been, and something inside me was itching to cause a little trouble so
Not as much fun as I thought it would be. I'm not really a gambler, there were tons of kids there, (and can I just say, if you are getting your vice on...leave yer rug rats at home. I'm standing there watching these "grown ups" get sloppy, lose their shirts, scream...spit flying, bulging eyes..the whole deal, and these toddlers are running all over the place, skeeved me out) and the race itself was like less than a minute long. Seems like a lot of nothing if you ask me, but the drinks were wicked strong and we felt a little like royality, we paid the fancy $8.00 parking, (right up front) and seeing that Amy and I have all our teeth, well...we felt like super models.
Amy was being good, I was not....so after a few
I knew I had better get some food. Now the grub at the racetrack, pretty grim and the boys seemed pretty done with losing money, (this is were Sexy Bitch and I are kindred souls, if we are gonna go out, it better involve more than a few drinks....a few hours and the chance of a cab ride home is likely) so figuring out where to eat had one stipulation....cocktails. So we ended up at
Yeah, the racetrack and Hof's Hut just another raging night for yours truly. The good news? I think I am still drunk and I have this half bottle of
Gonna be a long ass day, but least I have some strawberries and minerals in my moistureless mouth. Sigh.
I will preface this brief post by saying that I had many years ago conceded that Michael Jackson had become something rather…well, rather disgusting. The molestation allegations, the bizarre weddings, addiction, megalomania…all just horrible, he had become…and for all I know, always had been a certifiable nut job. I understand why people hate him, I never did, more than anything watching what happened just made me so sad.
I didn’t really grow up in an R&B house, my Mom was a hippie, so it was more Doobie Brothers and Kenny Loggins, so when I was really little music was of little interest to me, until I heard Sir Duke from Stevie Wonder’s, Songs In The Key Of Life album. I was five when that album came out, my Mom bought it, but it was me that wore that record out. I would put it on and dance in our incense smelling apartment for hours, a year later I was a full on Motown junkie with a strong love for The Jackson Five and Michael Jackson in particular…when Off The Wall came out in 1979, I was 8 and quite the music lover….music with rhythm, music that made you dance and there was, or is no one that did music and dance better than Michael Jackson.
I think I was about 12 years old when I became completely obsessed with Michael Jackson, I had all the buttons, posters and my room was covered…every inch with pictures of him, to say I worshiped him is a gross understatement. The thing was, while I did in fact find him beautiful, (and please keep in mind I am talking like 1983-1986 here) there was something much deeper to my adoration, even back then it took more than “pretty” to win me over.
See the thing was, I didn’t quite “fit” not that anyone really does as an early teen, but moreover…I didn’t really try. I was, (and still am) overweight, not really into sports…traditionally where us chunky chicks find a place, I was attracted to black dudes but could not look more white…blonde, green eyes…I sucked at bullshit and small talk, I hated picking on others and those that loved it, we were wicked broke so my clothes sucked and I could not afford an instrument, so band was out, and I hated school and sucked at it…too smart to be stupid and too lazy to be smart….but I had one thing, I could dance.
The only place, in those early days-o-me, that I felt peaceful and powerful was when I was dancing, it was the one thing that I had….and I would ache all day long, squeezing myself into those tiny seats, looking at my test results with the big D- on it, shuffling from class to horrible class, I longed to be home, with my headphones on.
To feel the music coursing through my body and my body doing things I didn’t even know, why it could do, a base line, a pair of headphones and me alone in my room, my light at the end of the daily tunnel. To watch Michael, watch him move…so fluid, so natural, so unlike anything I had ever seen before, it went a long way in making me feel like less of a freak. Dancing wasn’t really that cool before him, sure it was great if you could but…it wasn’t mainstream, and if you bring up disco or John Travolta I will sock you in your head.
Michael Jackson was a huge part of my personal development, I wasn’t some screaming ninny that peed herself at the sight of him….I was in awe of is raw, natural talent, I wanted to be able to do the things he did, watching him spoke to my soul and gave me a “voice” and a place. Before long I was one of those street corner dancers, (sounds so retarded now) and was surrounded by this new, passionate bunch of people that were able to speak, with their feet and a spine that seemed to be made of liquid….that and I was smack dab in the middle of a culture that was able to embrace me because, even though I didn’t look like them…I spoke their language. For opening that door, I will always love Michael Jackson and he will always be special to me, that being said.
I am so sad tonight, sure I am sad that he died but even more sad that I cannot find it in myself to shed a tear…so tragic. How can someone or something that was so instrumental in me becoming the me that I am now, not warrant even one tear? I’m sure we all know why so no need to dig it all back up, but when I heard the news this afternoon it felt like the zipping of a body bag of an already dead soul.
I will miss him, just as I have missed him for nearly 20 years, but I will never forget my afternoons, my headphones, alone in my room, looking to fit and fitting with him…..thank you Mr. Jackson and rest in peace.
“Wanna just do Thai Princess fried rice then?” it was my dinner suggestion when the hubby called last night, as I was trying to close the store, after a 9 hour shift. I was distracted by register receipts, and the thought of cooking a whole meal was less than exciting, and seeing as I had eaten a crap burger for lunch I wanted something that had a least a few veggies in it. Thai Princess is a Thai place, (der) near our house and they make the absolute best fried rice, chock full of still crunchy veggies, big hunks of whichever meat you choose, mildly spiced as far a chili goes but loaded with tons of black pepper….the best part, it’s like 2 pounds of rice with each order, so it works out to about 3 meals for me…love, loves me some cold Thai fried rice for breakfast. I know they always look at us like freaks when we just order the rice, like, “you don’t want any main dishes?” but like I said, it’s ton of food and really satisfying, if we look like stupid round eyes, whatever, makes me happy.
I woke this morning to find the hubby already deeply entrenched in some web training seminar, wearing that, Oh-my-god-I-want-to-gouge-my-own-eyes-out, look, so any delusions I had about a rare Wednesday afternoon lunch date, (I’m off today) and a movie flew right out the window on my way to the coffee pot. A few hours later he was still there, same look but I could tell by the gradually increasing in volume, sighs, that he was getting hungry. Now, as much as I love the leftover rice deal, the hubby….not so much, he’ll eat it but he is not really a fan of having the same meal back to back. So there I stood in our dinky ass kitchen, wearing my most favorite jammies, (and yes I have favorites and even seasonal favorites…so there) digging around for fried rice enhancements. Cranked the heat on the cast iron skillet, chopped some shallot, grabbed the garlic-chili paste, and whisked a couple eggs with soy sauce, not all that different but a spicier, saltier version, just enough of a change to make the meal more palatable for the finicky, computer funster.
Now seeing that it was just about 11:30 I had a mild pang of guilt or that “Um does this look bad?” when I reached for a bottle of wine, lucky for me that I really don’t give a shit what people think about my behavior, if I worried about that crap I would never have any fun. So I popped the cork on my icy cold bottle of 2008 Domaine de Mattes-Sabran Vin de Pays d’Oc Rose, ($12.99) what an amazing contrast. Steaming hot rice, icy cold wine, spicy chili flavors, bursting berries and freshly cut melon, crunchy veggies, soft, plump mouth feel…kinda debunks that whole, “grows together-goes together” diatribe no? Was it earth shattering, well…no it’s fried rice and Rose, but it was a lovely pairing, enjoyed in my bestest, most comfy jammies and the eye rolling, sigh monster is quieted….now, what’s for dinner?
So while pounding my way through a way too greasy fast food burger this afternoon, a tiny man approached the counter. He had what appeared to be a binder in the crook of his arm and asked, “Is Samantha Dugan here today?” in a very thick French accent. A tad peeved by the perceived intrusion on my lunch, (no matter how wretched) I plopped the burger down on its shiny foil/paper, wiped my mouth and said, “Yup, that’s me”. “My name is Blah Blah” he said with a big grin….I just stood there trying to figure out who this guy was, what he wanted and why he was grinnin’ at me, “Okay, how can I help you?” I pressed on. He stood there kind of blinking faster and asked me if I spoke French, I don’t… shaking my head, and looking at him with my suspicious face, I told him, “No, sorry I don’t” that was when he repeated his name for me, slower and much clearer, “My name is Guy Tempier and I live in Provence”
So as it turns out, Guy Tempier is a painter, (further investigating on the Internets let me know, a pretty good one) that lives in Provence and was staying with friends here in Long Beach, friends that get our newsletter and while flipping through The Wine Country newsletter he found my piece on Lulu and Domaine Tempier, the Lulu he had just visited with 3 weeks before his trip here, and the Domaine that that a shared his last name. Small world no?!
(A Piece By Guy Tempier)
I could not tell if his family was ever part of Domaine Tempier, but I can only assume at some point in the lineage, it was likely. We walked over to the Provence area of the store, we looked at the bottles and he showed me the book he had come in with, his book of his art…in hardback. There was little to say, we were both beaming for some reason, like we had this thing in common, this thing that inspired him to come to the store just to meet me, rather incredible really. He asked if Lulu had seen what I had written, and I assured him that she probably had not, “I would like to bring this to her if you don’t mind. I think this, this would make her happy” my heart swelled with pride, and flattery...very small world.
A couple hours later, still all goofy about my chance meeting, a Wine Country veteran came in, he has been coming in for years, we get along great and I had not seen him in a couple weeks. As soon as I saw him, I smiled and yelled across the shop, “How you doin’?!” to which he responded, “Getting better”…that always worries me, then it came, “we lost my sister last week”….from heart swelling to sinking. “Oh I am so sorry” was all I could think to say, (and can I just say, I hate that….when my Mom passed everyone said that to me…really? You’re sorry? I know it’s what we all say, just wish there were something better) “No it was a long bout with Cancer so we are all a bit relieved” he responded, “well at least the suffering is over, for all of you” I said and went about ringing up his wines.
“I wanted to tell you, you turned her on to a bunch of really great French wines. She always said how much you helped her, I just wanted you to know that” he said while looking down at our tattered little counter, “Her name was Jaculine, I’m sure would not know her by name, but you would know her…wish I had a picture. Anyway, she spoke highly of you and I wanted you to know that” he said, his voice trailing off softly. I’m telling you, it took everything I had to fight back the tears…what an amazingly unselfish act on his part. Here he is grieving the loss of his sister but he felt that she would want me to know that she had said nice things about me, and by sharing those comments he was making me feel good…before he left I put my hand on his and said, “thank you so much for sharing that with me, it means more than I can tell you” he shot me a sheepish, slightly embarrassed half grin, avoided eye contact and made his way to the front door shouting, “You have a good day kid” on the way out. Back to swelling and it is moments like these that remind me why I am on this end of the business, moments like the ones I shared this afternoon…they will be with me forever.