A List of Things I Did This Morning

Last night I had a couple drinks and rode home. So when I got up this morning, about three hours after I had gone to bed, to say goodbye to GF, I was sure I was going to be a little hungover. I had drank two glasses of water before going to bed, and that turned to be both good and bad. Good because I was only a little hungover. Bad because I woke up like four times to go to the bathroom. And usually if I have to go I just hold it while I’m sleeping. I’m like a camel. But this shit was intense every single time I just couldn’t hold it. So that was my night.

Then I woke up and it’s supposed to be another Snowpacalypse out here in Boston. So GF wanted me to get some bread from the convenience store. So I got up with a mission at around 9:00, putting my sleep hours at about seven. Put on the same clothes I had on yesterday and said, “Fuck it. I’m going to Trader Joe’s.”

I pulled the bike out of the basement where I had put it last night for safe-keeping, out of the splash zone. Put on my REI facemask and put on my new, ridiculous looking forty-five dollar helmet and hopped right the fuck outside.

I didn’t eat breakfast or nothing, which on hangover days is usually bad news. I just rode, man, thinking God damn if this isn’t the greatest thing since blogging. Just fucking going over the river to TJ’s in a snow storm without having to look at bus schedules or anything. Of course, it’s just my luck that a fucking 64 bus was leaving at the same time as I was.

But no matter. I was doing it for more than convenience. I gotta say once I hopped on that bike I felt like a 98 pound weakling. I don’t use those thigh muscles like that. Hills are killer. But anyway I made it.

Rolled up in Trader Joe’s just as happy as a lark. Shit was a madhouse. But they still had bread! Couldn’t believe it. Got some other shit and stood in line, listening to this mom and her kids and they were all pushing up against me in line and shit. Then the dude, I paid him in ones and he said, “I hope this isn’t stripper money.” Well shit, what if it was. He’d feel like a fool. So I told him it was. Then I said just kidding I’m a bartender. But he didn’t give a damn either way I guess.

Oh on the way there I gave a homeless man a dollar and I never do that, mostly because I can’t afford to give any money away. But I just happened to have a lot of ones so I hopped off the bike and chased him down and gave him a dollar and he was super cool about it. I felt good about that.

And while I was at Trader Joe’s, and I guess all last night and to that homeless dude too I was calling everyone “brother.” I thought it might get annoying, but when I say it I feel connected to them. I haven’t called anyone sister yet, so I don’t know how that will go. But people seem to be taking it well, they seem to like it.

And then I jumped on the bike and ran into a trash can. Knocked the whole shit right over, banged up my knee, right in a crowded parking lot. Well no one gave a shit about it, didn’t laugh or even look at me, and I gaurantee you that shit was funny looking. It was a huge empty trash can and it clanged and fell into three pieces. So I guess people were just worried about Snowmageddon.

Yeah they closed my restaurant down today because nobody would show anyway. It’s great in one way but it sucks to lose that money.

Well I rode back real leisurely as I couldn’t really muster any more effort than that. And I cruised on home and rolled up in this bitch feeling fine. It was a bitch getting the bike back downstairs but whatever.

I ate some banana bread and called Wells Fargo and closed my account, finally! The damn thing keeps getting overdrafted so I can’t close it but finally I caught it at a zero balance. And then I made a big payment to my student loan so they’ll shut up for a while. And I kept a little money for myself! Which I never do, but I think I’ll bank some of it. Start “paying myself first” like you read in all those Robert Kawasaki books. Is that his name? Shit I forget.

It’s Kiyosaki apparently, I just had to look it up and thus broke one of my rules but now it’s pretty funny that I said Kawasaki.

And then I got on here and started reading some blog posts. And then I started watching NBA dunk contests because someone was talking about Spud Webb.

But I have a lot I want to write about and time is dwindling. I was thinking I might start a whole blog about biking, too, but I guess I’m starting to spread myself thin.

Alright I’m going to eat some lunch and make some coffee and see what’s what.

Tenuta Delle Terre Nere 2011

Oh yes, Beloved, the time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings. Damn I need to memorize the rest of that poem. Now GF is home and brought Venison Wellington and also a cold virus. So now I’m drinking wine and eating Wellington and drinking Emergen-C. I can not miss any work! Although I’d love to stay home and write, it just don’t play that way in the service industry.

Yeah but shit I better get on this wine training thing. I was thinking I’d learn about wine while I was at work, but I’m always too busy working so got to figure it out otherwise. So I thought I’ll just bring home the bottles that we have for wine service and learn about them one at a time.

This wine is Tenuta della Terre Nere and I think it’s from Sicily. I’m readingĀ The World Atlas of Wine on Sicily now. And GF and I are hacking and sneezing and my eyes are watering now. Shit!

I’ll just take one of these unlabeled pink pills I found in the medicine cabinet. That should do it. And more wine thanks.

Ok so it appears that Sicily is a place where a lot of other civilizations, or a lot of civilizations just, have made their mark and then evaporated. There’s some Greek temples, some Roman shits…something else up in there I’m sure. And it’s got so many different kinds of wine growing regions that theĀ Atlas raves that it should be called a continent instead of an island.

You know, it sucks to get sick but I don’t mind so much. Just imagine if I had “suicide headaches.” Those are the unexplained headaches featured in such films as Darren Aranofsky’s Pi, where the pain is purportedly on par with childbirth (they know so because a mother contracted them). Well, you can do a lot of good living if you think, well shit, this sucks but what if this. Like yesterday I was kind of bored, but I thought about all the times I’ve been so hung over that I had to run to the bathroom to throw up between waiting on tables and how much that sucked and how I thought in those times that I would be so grateful to the world when the alcohol had gone because anything would be better than to have that hangover (not including suicide headaches of course). So at least I’m not hungover and working at a restaurant right now. Or at least I’m not inside an MRI. I did a bunch of MRIs at the NIH to get paid and I didn’t think I was claustrophobic but turns out I’m a little claustrophobic. I really had to focus on my breathing. And the first time I thought, well, once I’m out of here, normal life will seem like paradise in comparison to this shit.

But back to wine then.

Sicily is perfect for organic growing because it’s so damn hot that you don’t have to worry about pests. On the southern tip of the island, winds from Africa bring the grapes to boiling point, but inland, apparently, it is cooler. They grow these grapes that they usually use for Masala, called Cataratto…at least I think so.

In the mid 90s and I guess before that, Sicily made strong wine that the Italians would then use for blending. Now they are focusing more on quality wines that can stand on their own. The Planeta family has been largely responsible for this. They are trying to make the native varieties viable, even standing up against Merlot and Chardonnay, which apparently the Planetas are famous for.

Nero d’Avola is the most famous grape so far. Avola is in the southeastern part of Sicily. There is also Nerello Mascalese from the slopes of Mt. Etna, which I think is where my wine is from. The bottle just says Etna Rosso. Mt Etna is a live volcano, so these motherfuckers are crazy to be growing grapes on that shit. Oh shit! They’re talking about my wine now. Apparently Nerello is a part of Etna Rosso, which is supposed to be “spicy.” Well, yeah, I think this wine is pretty spicy. It tastes like dark fruit, even though I don’t eat dark fruit, and I guess really grapes could be a dark fruit, so it pretty much tastes like grapes I suppose. Big surprise there. It doesn’t seem to go very well with my venison wellington either.

Cataratto is the “workhorse white grape of the west.” And they got some moscato type grapes round there and some malvasia, which is a word I hear a lot.

So looks like Terre Nere uses simple vinification processes instead of getting all fancy with it. They put the wine in 25% new oak and they bottle it without filtering it after 18 months. The vineyards are way up on the mountain so they get hot direct sunlight but cold nights, which makes for elegant wine as opposed to the high alcohol intensely flavored southern Sicilian wines. This is some of the highest grape growing type shit going on. This is some risky business going on. Anyway I got all that from a “Winemakers Note” on some wine shopping web site.

The volcanic eruptions leave deposits of volacnic soil, which creates an easy draining terroir with little nutrient density that makes the grapes struggle to grow, which can generally make good wine.

Well, everyone is saying it’s light bodied and great with red meat but I did not find it to be so. Of course, I am having a hard time smelling so that could do it. Also I don’t like wine. But I’m working on that.

An American importer of wines from Northern Italy, Marco de Grazia, started the vineyard in 2002. The wine is a little tannic, tastes like dark fruit, has a light body I suppose. I don’t like it.
So bottom line:
Marco di Grazia moved to Mt Etna in 2002 to take advantage of the volcanic terroir and high elevation in order to make some outstanding and unique wines. Terre Nere is his entry level wine made with nerello grapes. It’s light bodied and well balanced and goes well with red meat and white fish.
There you go. Wine post. Done.