Friday, June 10, 2011

Why I Do This

Feeling painfully lonely tonight. Just one of those evenings when everything you want and need seems so far out of your reach that no matter how much you arch, stretch and balance on the very tips of your toes…no matter how much you wish, want or will your needs to be caressed or even visited, it just isn’t going to happen. It’s in these moments, of which I find myself floating far too often as of late, that I truly run through the agenda…the unwritten manifesto of what I really want, need, what I’m willing to give, and for how long before having to come to the somewhat harsh, and often crushing, realization that my attempts to breathe life into something that has long ago expired is doing nothing more than leaving me tired, huffing for my own breath and very, very sad….

The above passage was written two nights ago. Big tears in my eyes as the words bounced from my head, through my fingertips and up on my screen. The beginning passage to my final blog post, too heartbreaking for me to even finish. Been in my head for a few months now, this hanging it up and going the way of The HoseMaster thing, much of which I’m beginning to understand, has to do with missing that talented bugger more than I even let myself consider. I mean who would have thought that those perfectly penned and tears of laughter inspiring posts would have such a resounding impact? Sure they were hilarious, often cringe provoking and sometimes just out and out silly but that wasn’t what brought me back over and over again. Talent. The awe inspiring ability to string words together without the tone controlling aid of voice and physical gestures, he had that and I found myself just longing to be near it. 

Even now, almost ten months since his last post I find myself clicking on his blog, hitting up the archives and strapping myself into a post, letting his gift take me for a ride yet again. Letting my envy and admiration feed me, breathe a little more life into my desire to capture…using only my words just as he was able to do. Not only did he inspire me, his talent gave me something to aspire to. Never even really considered being a writer before stumbling on The HoseMaster of Wine just over two years ago, been feeling the loss, the lack of fire in my belly ever since he quit. I miss that voice more then he even knows, well unless he stumbles upon this post that is. If you happen to be poking around Mr. Ronald Washam I want you to know, possibly feel and take whatever pride there might be in the fact that your talent fed and nurtured this silly “voice” of mine. Your gift is something I craved to own just a tiny bit of, my desire to have you even notice me, the me here, pushing me that much harder….encouraging me to peel off another layer, swing my text just a little deeper. Without you I know this blog would have never lasted this long, without your inspiration it sure as shit would have never been written with as much heart. I hope to one day make you very proud….

Damn, feels better just saying that. So while my beloved HoseMaster was a giant factor, a massive reason why I sit here and pound away on my keyboard I was beginning to wonder if he was the only reason. Look, I know many a blogger that could give a rat’s ass how many hits and comments they get. Are just content flexing their writing muscle and tossing it out into the ether, I not only believe that, I envy it but for me….I need more than just my own voice to make it all worth it. I’ve long ago given up on checking my stat counter every hour, given up on blog awards and am near the point of realization that no one is gonna die if I don’t post every two days. I’m all good there but I have been struggling with finding a reason to keep posting. It’s not the what, surrendering my wine blogger status helped there and I knew/know that not everything here has to be related to wine but for me to keep splaying my heart wide open the way I do at times I just have to know that someone is getting something out of it. I’m just needy that way.....

Enter Jess. Last night I had dinner with Jessica, the first of my readers, (that was not already a customer at The Wine Country) that went out of her way to come and meet me. Can’t even remember how long ago it was now when she walked through the doors of the shop, big beautiful grin helping bat away at the butterflies in my tummy. I remember standing in the tasting room with this very cool chick thinking, “She came all this way to meet me, because of my blog?” pouring her a glass of one of the wines he had read about here, a glass of Tempier Bandol Rose. We have had many more meetings since that day, shared more than a few bottles and she seems to end up buying a case of whatever I suggest to have shipped home to her in Colorado, amazing. Last night we sat on the beautiful little patio of a local restaurant, picked at some pretty terrible food, drained two bottles of wine and just talked. Shared our stories, talked wine and nursed the last little drops in our glass as to not have the evening end. I shared my blogging struggles with her and as I was driving home one thing she said had my heart filling and my tummy jiggling with giggles, “Oh no Sam you’re wrong, I will die if you don’t post. I may not comment but after reading you I am often either bawling or wanting to touch myself” and while far from the truth it was assuring me that I am in fact touching people, making her curious about the wines that drive me to write about them, reminding me that wine is not just a beverage to many of us, it’s a feeling an emotion….a lover and for her, (and I hope a few others) this is the place she comes to be inspired. 

That, that is why I do this and thank you Jess for the birthday dinner, the loving the Clos Marie Rose and Azo Chablis, for wanting to spend time with me, both here and in person. You girlie, reminded me why I started this blog in the first place. Why I write and with Ron’s talent giving me something to aspire to, well I just might keep at this just a little bit longer. Thank you both.


Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Well, you've accomplished something few have ever accomplished--you've humbled me. Thank you. Your talent long ago exceeded mine, but if I had even the tiniest bit of influence, gave you even the smallest amount of encouragement to write, then I'm damned proud.

I've always loved to write. I've been writing stories and jokes since I was ten years old, right around the Civil War. Writing has always brought good things to my life. You're living proof of that. And you're a writer now, Samantha, there's no going back. Even if you quit the blog (don't) you'll still put words to paper, explore your own heart through this beautiful medium of self-expression, but, believe me, it's different to write only for yourself. It's never as satisfying or as meaningful or as motivating.

I make people laugh (occasionally), but you have a gift for touching people, or yourself, with words. To do so in the context of wine is unique and miraculous. The wine world NEEDS a Samantha Dugan.

Thank you for your love, Beautiful. It is you that inspires me, not the other way around.

I love you!

Valerie said...

Crazy girl over here in C-Springs is not only damned glad you're still writing, but do plan to make an appearance in your store one day. I'll be the one asking for boo-pecoche. 2 of my very good buddies live in or near Lakewood, by the way, and told them to seek your sultry wine-godDESS assistance with their wine choices. Hugs from writer-well-running-dry land over the Rockies....xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh Sam, you always touch a heart, inspire a voice, encourage an exploration... your words would be sorely missed by those of us who don't get to see you nearly as often as we'd like to. Helps when I'm sitting awake at 2am, staring at the blinking cursor, wondering if I should write what I'm feeling. 'Cause I know I'm not the only one, and picture you curled up on the couch, glass near by, jammies on and "face" off.

Miss you dearly, and need your words too.

But you know all that shit, in your heart of hearts. You just forget it and let pressure get to you too often.

Cheers, can't wait to open a bottle with you soon.

Benito said...

Best reason to stay with wineblogging: the groupies. ;)

Keep rocking the mad science on this virtual stage and the readers will follow.

Much love as always,

Joe said...

I love writing, hate reading, and have the attention-span of a kid raised on that damn pinball-counting-thing on Sesame Street, predate ritalin.

So, hooking me into checking for a post daily- something only maybe 3 blogs (not just wine blogs) do- is a feat.

I wrote a post last night about my daughter turning one. I wanted it to tell a good story and convey emotion, so I tried to write it like one of your posts. I don't think it came close.

I understand the allure of hanging it up. But the web will be a more boring place.

Joe said...

Oh, and Benito destroyed my post with a comment that made my wife cry. And she ain't no sap. Sunuvabitch!

k2 said...


A lot of times, when I read someone's post, I have to choke back the urge to chime in with a "yeah, I get that too" or "I totally agree with you" - I don't want to come off sounding like a massive dork, or worse yet, some sleazy internet stalkoid. I don't know where I find time to read the blogs I do - and I read a lot of them - as well as post to my own, take care of the Mrs and my brood at home, and oh, do my job, but I make the time to read the blogs I truly enjoy, yours topping the list. I too miss the Hose, and I too was inspired by him, and you, but I have gotten maybe too comfortable with being one of the blogs that sits on the outside looking in. Sure, the constant traffic and instant adulation is cool, but when you do it because you love it, that is all that matters. We certainly don't make any money doing this, right? (Except maybe Joe!) But what you do, and I think I might be repeating myself, is transcend the standard wine blogs with something truly universal, and that you make it more about life than about a commodity like wine. What you do is more than blogging, more than prose - it is an exploration of the little things that are so often overlooked yet no less important, the things that can be understood by all of us, that aforementioned universality that elevates you from genre writing into art.

Is that over the top?

Hope you keep writing, no matter what the media outlet, for a long, long time.


Chuck Hayward said...


You better keep writing! Where else can I see the intersection of wine and references to "touching oneself" in print. I actually need a cigarette or two after reading some of your entries. As a matter of fact, you have created a "wine erotica" category all on your own.

Miss Dugan, I is addicted. Don't go making me come down there and make you write for me... Oh, that sounds kinda cool...



John M. Kelly said...

Once upon a time a penguin was driving his old Chevy from Signal Hill to Louisville. Somewhere in the middle of Missouri the car started belching smoke out the tail pipe.

He pulled into the only truck stop with a mechanic on that section of highway. The mechanic told the penguin it would take an hour to check everything out; the penguin told the mechanic to come find him in the diner next door when he had a diagnosis.

The daily special at the diner was fish & chips. Penguins LOVE fish & chips, so he ordered it and asked the waitress for plenty of tartar sauce.

Now, penguins are sort of messy eaters - not having opposable thumbs you see. But this fish & chips with tartar sauce was exactly what the penguin wanted, and he dug in with gusto, if not with the best table manners. In moments he had his dinner all over his face and flippers.

About this time the mechanic comes in, wiping his hands on a rag. The penguin asks him what the problem is. The mechanic breaks it to him gently: "Well, son, it looks like you blew a seal."

Horrified, the penguin gasps: "No! No! Honestly! It's only tartar sauce!"

So Sam, I just want you to know that if you ever happen to blow a seal and quit blogging, I'm still here for you. Maybe you, Ron and I can have an ex-bloggers dinner every year.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron Love,
A Humbled HoseMaster, well shit...maybe my work here is done. You have humbled me on far too many occasions, guess we are even now. I do so admire your gift Ron and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for the 2 years of inspiration and motivation. I miss your voice more than I ever tell you and I love you very much.

I simply cannot wait to sell you a bottle of Boo Pecoche! Hell if you really came in I might even be willing to taste some. Thanks so much for sending your friends to The Wine Country, we little guys need all the help we can get! Thanks as always for commenting sweet lady.

Another Day of Crazy,
Not sure it's the pressure so much but something has been plaguing me for sure. I always end up feeling so much better after just spilling my guts. finding out I'm not alone...even in the "To blog or not to blog" struggle. I miss you too girlie.

I can proudly say that I was HoseMaster's #1 groupie. There was a time when someone thought they were but....well, I think my rack edged Heimoff out.

I started to read your post before work this morning and knew it was one I should read smudges of the eyeliner before work dammit! You have been so supportive of me kid and I very much consider you a dear friend. Now get yer ass posting more often!!

You are just the sweetest thing. Your comments always humble me, make me shake my head and ask how I got so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life....even the virtual life. Thank you for everything and you and I can bemoan the loss of The HoseMaster together...

Addicted?! To me?! Feeling kinda fancy right about now. What a very cool thing to say....might need a cigarette myself. The plan, for now anyway is to keep plugging away but should I ever stop I look forward to your visit!

Ewe. Boo and Ewe but as always, I love you my brother from anotha. I'm down for a blogger dinner whenever you cats are! Big hugs and I cannot wait to see you in just a few days!!!

webb said...

Sam, I don't comment much because Ron has already said everything I ever want to say - only much better. But you are at the top of my blog list, too. No one talks about their feelings like you do. No one shares the depths of the human soul like you do. No one makes me want to rush out and buy a wine like you do - and do you have any idea how hard it is to do in Virginia, for pete's sake??

I do hope you will continue. Everyone goes thru dry times and times when they doubt what they are writing, but you truly have a gift with words. Your prose is magic.

Thanks - from the bottom of my heart.

luvgrapes said...

I am a reader, not so much a writer. But I am also in wine retail in the midwest. You have helped me survive so many times by saying what I am feeling. You pulled my ass out of the ditch last xmas with a blog that described just how deathly tired a person can become from helping people in this business at that time of year. Thank you for that and for what you do day in & day out. Big hug. Don't stop.

Samantha Dugan said...

Man, you guys are killin' me. I am so very touched each and every time I hear that my silly words, rants or stories move people. I'm just a woman with a laptop on my end and still you lovely people find something here that keeps you coming back, you cannot possibly know how wonderful that feels for me. Feel more loved than I ever have before...amazing.

Well hello there. Thanks for chiming in. I have been struggling a bit in this space, not knowing if there were any reason to keep writing, if anyone was learning, understanding or even caring...insecurity is such a sharp toothed monster isn't it? People keep telling me that I need to write for myself, someday I hope to feel comfortable enough to even consider doing that, but now, well now I write in the hopes that someone will read something, anything, here and find either comfort or, (as your comment points out) can nod their head knowing exactly what I'm talking about. Knowing that you were doing just that from my retail holiday post....helps ignite my fire to keep going. Thank you.

I would like you all to know that I love this place; the time I spend here lost in my head, sharing myself with people that seem to adore me for no other reason than me being me...find unbelievable comfort in that and I do actually love the process of writing, which for me is more like just talking than having any real idea and making it happen. I crave being here and all of you, I was, (and I'm sure I will again) just feeling that all of it was getting to pointless, that it might be time to just let go. After so many kind words and encouragement, the confession that I miss devouring the brilliance that was Ron's blog, the sweet words from Jess....well I feel much better and see some value in what it is I'm doing here. So thank you all so much for breathing a little more air into my emotional raft. I love you for taking the time to do so.
Big Hugs,

chris said...

Yes, "the wine world needs a Samantha Dugan"

...and so do I.

And when you are ready, what ever the "media outlet"

...the whole world awaits.

Samantha Dugan said...

Now that right there almost made me cry. Thank you lady!

Alfonso Cevola said...

count me in for any ex-wine bloggers reunion dinner - I'm there!

Eric V. Orange said...

I will admit that the loss of Hosemaster has caused my wine blog reading to abate substantially. Reading his jabs at the poodles made me take a peek at what the poodles were saying. It was comments on his blog that lead me to you, but your writing that brought me back. I bought that expensive digestivo from you because of your words. Hell, I spent $100 in cab fare to meet you at that tasting solely because of reading your blog. I don't get by that often these days, but every time I do, I'm touched by you Sam.
For what that worth. All the best.

Samantha Dugan said...

It's a deal sweetheart!

Fuck, the cab was that much?! Now I am fantastically humbled. You are and have always been so sweet with the words you share with me here and for what's it worth, it means a lot. Big hug to you Kid.

Lousy Grapes said...

It was the Hosemaster that originally keyed me in to your blog. I started a wine blog two or so years ago and and at the time was not only naive enough to think that my blog was one of the first wine blogs but also dumb enough to think I was gonna be the first one who was funny at it.
Then I found the Hosemaster and I realized I was not only beaten to the punch but destroyed before I even entered the ring. It was your comments and his quips about you that made me come check this site out and in you I've found a wine blogger who's not only funny but "real" for lack lack of a better word and touching to boot. I don't ever really read blogs. New posts from you and Joe Herrig seem to give me that feeling I'd have as a kid when it was wednesday and the next chapter of some comic I was reading was unleashed on the world. In other words, a raging mental, nerd boner.
I often find myself wishing I could still be as excited about wine as he is and as emotionally involved about it as you.
Whether you post every day or once a month I've got you right there in my feed where I know I can find your post. Sadly, Ron's in my feed also and everytime I open it and I see the title "Dysfunctional Family Winemakers" I feel as though I just opened my Christmas present and it was a used brick.
Please don't make me go through that again. But if you ever have to, do it like he did, without a whisper of it being the end so that I will still be able to hope...

Joe said...

Very kind words, Nick. I appreciate it.

Now get excited about wine again. It's made out of booze!

Alfonso Cevola said...

nothing..just thought it weird and junk that the word verification was

Samantha Dugan said...

Lousy Grapes,
Aren't you just the sweetest thing? Thank you so much and I will be sure to pass on your compliments to Ron as well, not so much the checker-backer guy that HoseMaster. I'm sure he will be touched by your comment, as was I. Thank you so much and as of right now....well no bricks for you!

Know what I adore about your comment? Because of our time in Italy I can now picture you giggling while you typed it....had me giggling just thinking about that. Hope to see you soon!

Romes said...

Holy Cow - I leave town and don't get on the computer all weekend and look what I miss!

It was just shy of 2 years ago that I was finally brave enough to try and meet you in person - I too was scared shitless. "Meeting someone on the internet" was so not my gig - but I loved wine and I felt myself deeply drawn to you from the very first blog post I read. We share many of the same loves and some of the same past and when reading you it was a little like reading myself.

Glad I took the plunge, and I'm sure Benito, Charlie, Ron etc are glad I did too. Seemed to get you out of SoCal and visiting us readers every chance you get.

I wish I lived closer, and not just for the wine! You can bet that we will continue this friendship for a long time, with or without the blog, but for now I'm glad you won't crush my heart and stop the blog. Whew, my job here is done... for now.

Loves ya Sam! See you in a few weeks!

Samantha Dugan said...

You are completely adorable and I too believe, with all that I am, that when...or if, this blog takes its last breath that you and i will forever be friends. Thank you so much for reminding me what I'm doing here, being drawn to me....I needed you girlie.
See you in a few weeks!

Sara Louise said...

I know I'm not around as much as I used to be (still not back to full 'normal' yet), but I would really miss your posts if you said goodbye. It's cheesy to say, especially since you're all the way over there, and I'm all the way over here (and it might sound a tad stalkerish), but I feel like you're my friend

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