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The Whine Shop | wine, you'll feel better

If you were born prior to 1980 and come across a John Candy movie you have never seen nor heard of, you can probably rest assured that it is a terrible movie.  I had Going Berserk in my Netflix queue for some time, it should have stayed there far away from my eye balls.

I also found that my sister sent me an idiot-proof wine bottle opener.  I accept your challenge and will find a way to render this piece of technology inoperable.

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I usually have my “look how cute my kids are” Christmas card printed by Snapfish.  I am not sure why I chose the “pick up at Walmart” option.  In my beady little brain I wasn’t thinking that Walmart would actually be doing the printing.  I picked them up and sort of glanced at them, when I got home I saw how truly terrible they were.

It may have been that my husband took the photo in question with his cell phone, which is usually pretty grainy, though it looked good on the computer. It may have been that my son was wearing a yellow shirt next to a green tree. Whatever the reason, both kids look jaundiced and a little distorted.  Do I sent out a big-headed, yellow-tinged photo card? I am already a cusp slacker, my mother never sent out a Christmas card in her life and it has been my proud distinction that I almost always send them.  Boundaries are important.

I figure the longer I wait to send them, there will be a greater volume of mail and other, prettier cards to mask them.  If I can help just one person avoid this sad scenario, it will be worth the effort.  Please let Snapfish print your cards, friends don’t let friends archive their precious memories at Walmart.

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Now that I am beginning a semi-solid diet again, I am tempted to write about the array of Netflix shows I watched whilst curled on the floor of my bathroom, wrapped in a blanket, suffering from some sort of pre-school incubated E-bola.  Sounds fun, right?

Thank God for Netflix because I watched at least 12 hours straight, stopping at regular intervals for my doubled ended gastro-assault.  I began by catching the 49 Up installment of the Up series. I watched 35 Up without knowing much about it, or realizing that it was quite long (short attention span here) and was enthralled.  This combines all of my loves and passions into one, it’s like a Lifetime movie meets Survivor.  To give a brief summary, a documentary was made in the early 50’s following 7 year old children in London, the series was continued every 7 years, they have recently released 56 Up. The premise is that in England, the class structure was so rigid that if you looked at a child when they were 7, you could pretty much predict the outcome of the rest of their life.  There is a boy who becomes a jockey and quits to become a London cab driver (who apparently make very good money) and then a small-time TV star.  There is an adorable boy from Liverpool who wants to be an astronaut or a coach driver but sadly turns out to have some deep mental issues that leave him essentially homeless.  I guess it particularly hit me because my own son is 7, will he be a London cabbie? Right now he is on track to be a DJ specializing in hits from the 50’s, I am sure there will be a hot market for this skill.

Next up was Young Adult, ever heard of it? Yeah, me neither.  This is sort of the Sweet Home Alabama-esque but in Minnesota in which Charlize Theron decides she want her old, now happily married with a baby, high-school boyfriend back.  I can’t quite tell if it didn’t suck as much as I thought it should because by this time I had depleted most of my cells of the majority of their water reserves.  I know she drank a lot in the movie which actually made me queasier but she was pretty much disheveled and grimy looking, so I felt a kinship to her. Not a movie I need to see again off the bathroom floor.

I typically enjoy Frazier, but my slow moving brain could not keep up and the laugh track was freaking me out. On a side note, the scene where Niles is preparing for his date and starts a fire while ironing his pants has to be one of the funniest moments on television, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mWiPaQ872c . You have to love anything with a “running with scissors” reference.

I am vague about some of the other shows, there may have been some American Dad and Family Guy, but these were clearly my darkest hours and I was googling “dehydration” and “when to go to the ER.”

Next in the queue (love that word) was “Everything Must Go,” starring Will Ferrell. I have a soft spot for comedic actors who play in dramatic roles like Jim Carey and Bill Murray. I think when you are the “funny one” all of the time, you are covering up some darker issues and it is interesting to see the human side they show when they aren’t making silly faces.  I think Will Ferrell was good in this movie, I think the movie itself went too long with too little material.  I can’t help but stare at his face and wonder if he has had an eye-lift.  There is a Kenny Rogers tightness and unequal pull to his eyes that doesn’t seem quite the way nature intended.  But raisins are natural and they are pretty weird looking, so who am I to judge.  There was a lot of drinking in this movie, but by now nausea was the new black and I was unfazable.  I am not sure how I selected the”boozy, dark comedies” category.

Rounding out what I remember watching this fateful evening  now turned 4 a.m, was a documentary called “Phyllis and Harold.  This one still has me thinking and left me pretty disturbed and if something can leave you thinking and disturbed after 12 hours of diarrhea and vomit, then it’s on to something.  I have a “unique” family of my own but I am not sure that I would want to expose so much to so many.  The movie follows a couple, Phyllis and Harold, though 59 years of marriage relying on old photographs, home movies and interviews by the couple’s daughter, the maker of the documentary.  It’s a truly fascinating look at the trade-offs people are willing to make in life. Love them or hate them, it will be hard to forget them.

At this time I moved back to the bed, despite my efforts at cushioning, my hip couldn’t take the floor anymore and Vesuvius had subsided.  I don’t think I have ever watched as many movies/shows in a row, with 2 young children a Curious George marathon is the closest I get. I think I will stick to the Kindle for a while.

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Perhaps it is the diet of Saltine crackers I have been consuming for the past 2 days or maybe it’s because the Grinch’s heart has yet to grow but could my son  be in a conspiracy to drive me crazy?

Though always eager to be helpful in words, the actions tend to be more of the “here, let me stab you in the leg with the fork as I place it in the dishwasher sort of way.” I asked him to unload the clothes in the dryer (his clothes) into a laundry basket and then move said laundry basket to his bedroom where the various articles of clothing could return to their homes. He came back into the living room about 20 second later.

“Where are the clothes?” asked a puzzled me.

“In the laundry room,” replies the boy.

“Didn’t I tell you to put them in a basket and put them away?” still puzzled.

“I put them in the laundry basket.”

“DID YOU PUT THEM AWAY?” less puzzled more angry sounding me.

After stomping and some groaning and more groaning about how heavy the basket is, he brings the clothes to his room. I pick up one sock and notice it is soaking wet, we learned a valuable lesson that wet clothes are significantly heavier and WETTER than dried clothes.  I think this lesson will stick.




Having children changes your life in many ways, some glorious and some not so much. As someone who slept on the bathroom floor last night reeling from some sort of sticky-fingered-pre-school virus, I am aware of the non-glorious today.

Surprisingly, a tile floor is uncomfortable even with a sleeping bag.  I guess it’s a good thing the wilderness is paved with dirt and grass rather than tile, lest everyone would have to use an air mattress. Or stay at a hotel.  Like a human.

As the scent of bleach and Lysol wafts across the room, I taste the sweet nectar or watered down ginger ale and rub my aching hip.  The little bugger did run and tell me she loved me and wanted to sit with me, as her father carried her kicking out of my sick room (I moved to the bed when the double-ended violence slowed this morning.) She is awfully cute.

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Kids, I would like talk about an epidemic raging through my house.  Alcohol and domain registration don’t mix, one minute you think of something semi-witty to register and the next you are half-wittedly registering things like “hermitwhimsy.” And while the initial registration can be cheap, oh the savings! They get you on the renewals…damn rent!

I just finished a laugh like I haven’t had in ages, one that I needed today aftger the tragic school shootings in Connecticut.  I generally try to ignore the frequent GoDaddy renewal notices that clutter up my in-box but since my office website was among those expiring, I logged into my account to see what else needed attention.

I should back up and say that I am a big picture kind of gal.  I get very excited about an idea, forge ahead with some craziness and then peter out, move on to the next thing or clean up the vomit from which ever kid decided to yak on the couch this round of illness.  Sometimes I get carried away and if I have had a few and I am logged on to my Go Daddy account, watch out.  There is something intoxicating (Tequila perhaps?) about seeing your brilliant, one-of-a kind domain name in the large font and dazzling lights of the GoDaddy domain registration page.  Dreams of riches (for what product exactly is usually still in the development stage) and grandeur fill my fingers as I register multiple domains, including the clever addition of “the” as a prefix to those gems most likely to be poached.  Tonight, while sitting on the couch, trying to forget the tragedy of today’s events, both my husband and I nearly peed our pants reading through my domain names, some of which do not expire for several months, poachers beware!


 On the NEXT page, there were gems such as “Hermitwhimsy,” at least I didn’t register “thehermitwhimsy” as well. While I am still waiting for that big offer from an anonymous bidder, I don’t think “livinglacountryloca” will be my ticket to a Robin Leach style retirement.

I believe the rash of fig registrations of 2012 was due to my pruning of my one (very nice) fig tree, though calling it a farm is a stetch and aren’t all figs fickle, lest they be available year round in non-Newton form. The bacon is self-explanatory, who doesn’t like bacon? Oh yes, the vegetarians, otherwise they couldn’t be vegetarians.

Also, my husband who is technologically more savvy than his funnier wife told me I could have taken a “screen shot” instead of a crappy picture from my cell phone.  I will attach away, kind sir, since I don’t know how to use bluetooth either and once my domains start reselling, we will see who laughs last and best.

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Why is it that my bed is considered the ideal place to build a fort? Curling up all cozy into bed and then finding a sharp lego protruding from the sheets isn’t exactly the best treatment for insomnia.  Which reminds me, what happens to legos when kids grow up, is there a lego graveyard somewhere? Can they be recycled? Why does my son seem to be the only kid in the world who doesn’t care much for legos?



I don’t know why that phrase bothers me so much and it’s not exactly used very often.  I don’t like it when people say goose pimples either.  I can tolerate goose bumps.  I don’t know what I would prefer people to use, I just know what I don’t like.


I fear clutter. I find watching Hoarders and Hoarding:Buried Alive (they have subtle differences you know) cathartic and motivational to clean and to organize.  I try to keep my sentimental things stored away carefully and with two children I try not so save every post-it note drawing, though it is tempting.  I make regular sweeps of our closets and toys and try to re-purpose ( I may take away the noisy toys and ugly shirts) and donate things we don’t use.  I restrain myself from keeping too many magazines and no longer subscribe to any newspapers (there was a dark time when I tried to read the Wall St. Journal daily).

"Oh, I'll catch up on these over the weekend."

If I feel I simply must have a recipe, then I 3 ring punch it and keep it in my oh-so-not-tidy binder.  I do accumulate professional journals at a higher rate than  I read them but I may SOMEDAY get to them, if I didn;t feel guilty about something I would be so lost.

I am addicted to digital clutter.  Where as I can be prudent and disciplined about physical stuff, my digital life is a mess.  I have over 17,000 messages in my yahoo account, over 1000 of which are unread.  They are mostly spam and retail emails that I didn’t delete because they had a sale or a promo code that I might have needed say 5 years ago.  Once it gets this big, you can’t sift through them one by one, it would have to be an all or nothing purge and my sentimental side won’t allow that, the emails when my husband and I were wee lads and lasses, quickbook backups I mailed myself, pictures that I know are there just waiting to be forwarded.

My house is really organized, cds are in alphabetical order, lots of files and tabs, my closet is separated by season, I keep nothing on the counters in the bathrooms but soap.  How is this dichotomy possible?  Let’s talk about digital photos, shall we?  I kept the same iphoto library for about 7 years and never made a new library, it just got so big it would take minutes just to open the program, knowing the end was in sight, I made sure I had backed everything up to an external drive, but what will I ever do with those photos? I think that is why I tried to keep up with Snapfish pictures several times a year, I can order physical copies, have an off-site back-up and pretend that my photo hoarding problem doesn’t exist.  My mother was a photo hoarder and even now she will send off a heavily duct-taped and extremely dense box of duplicates and triplicates of photos from my childhood so I can be a hoarder too.


I have to really stop myself when it comes to domain name hoarding, this can get expensive even with the promo codes I have stashed in my 17,000 (not kidding, wish I were) emails.  It starts with a brilliant idea, which leads to a domain name search, followed by a frantic, adrenaline induced buying frenzy.  “It’s available!  I must seize this domain before the internet pirates who are watching my every move scoop it out from underneath my very finger tips!  It’s GOLD, Jerry!”  I do let some of them lapse, though it always makes me a little sad to see them go.  My new thing is to try to sell them, but I am pretty sure that the cyber-world is full of wide-eyed dreamers like me who think that buttermybiscuits.com will make them a fortune!

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