Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just A Few Reasons Why I'm Going To Hell...

...& the fact that I've been back from vacation with the Luces & haven't blogged about it yet doesn't really count in my book. Patience, people, patience...I've certainly had to use it since I've been back, as it's been rather eventful. (But hey, we had a great time!)

Anyway, for those of you that don't know, today is Ash Wednesday - the 1st day of Lent, on which many Christians receive a mark of ashes on their forehead as a token of penitence & mortality. Now, before some of you start asking "Who are you & what have you done with Claire?", let me explain why I mentioned this. (The following story is in NO way intended to offend anyone - so just don't go there.)

I work in a hospital (in an office, not on the floor - & I definitely don't perform surgery, although I've been tempted..), & every year, various forms of clergy walk around on Ash Wednesday to rub ashes on people's foreheads. Well, several of the - hmmm, what do I call them - ashed-upon people came in my office a couple of Ash Wednesdays ago, & one of them was far more bold than anyone I'd ever encountered on this day. (I think that the story is worth re-telling, & may in fact turn out to be like "The Night Before Christmas" one day.)

Ash Head: "Why, Claire, haven't you been blessed today?"

Me: "Oh, I try to think that I'm blessed EVERY day.."

AH: "Now, you know that's not what I meant. You should go take part of the Ash Wednesday tradition. You will be absolved of your sins. If you don't, you'll go to Hell."

Me: "Wow. That's serious, then. However, I don't 'take part in the tradition', but thanks."

AH: "That's awful, Claire. Have you at least made a sacrifice for Lent?"

Me: "Oh yes, the same as I do every year. I'm giving up heroin." (I've never done it, but I ALWAYS say this every year because I think I'm funny... Hell, party of 1, please.)

AH: "That's not funny. I'm going to pray for your soul tonight, but I doubt it'll be enough to save you from Eternal Damnation. Harumph..."

Holy crap!!! I've only joked around with this woman on occasion, & had absolutely no reason to believe that she was so religious. Frankly, I was stunned, but of course, now I'm still laughing about it a couple of years later (& she barely acknowledges me on the rare occasion that she sees me) . Whoops, another reason I'm going to Hell. Well, while we're at it, let's take a look at some other reasons:

* I no longer attend church (although I do still believe in God, just not necessarily what I was taught all those years).

* If God listens to my parents' son, it's my fault that my parents got a divorce. (Ooops, I think that "parents' son" reference might have just made that 2 reasons.)

* I had premarital sex. A lot. And liked it.

* I lived with Doug before we got married. Oh, & let's not even talk about Doug...but chalk up 2 more, please.

* I laugh about my parents a lot, so I guess that means I don't honor them.

* I'm not fulfilling God's will because I am not having children. (Yes, I've actually been told that by another zealot.)

* I cuss. Quite a bit.

* I joke about going to Hell a lot. I think that's supposed to be a sin.

* I've been known to say snarky things about other people. I know, shocking...sad but true.

You know, this list could go on & on...& you know what? That's ok. But beware...if you laughed at any of this, you could be joining me.

(By the way, I redecorated the blog a bit, so pop out of your Reader. Oh no! Aren't attention-seeking & vanity sins, too?)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Still The One

I received a card in the mail yesterday. It read:

To My Very Special Love
On Valentines Day

We found each other.

We knew.

We knew that it was so amazing.

Happy Valentine's Day to My One & Only.

My Love.

Awwww, right? Well....

At the top of the card was "Dear Claire & Doug", & after "My One & Only" was "daughter & son-in-law". However, there was no signature -- my dad had forgotten to sign the card.

Yeah...I know.

In other, not-so-weird news, today is The Day. Yeah, yeah, it's Valentine's Day, but big whoop. Seriously. It's a freakin' Hallmark holiday. Today is The Day because in about 45 minutes, Doug & I are getting in the car & driving to New Orleans! Yup, nothing says romance like 9-10 hours in a car. We'll meet up with Lucy & Mr. Luce at the hotel, play around town for a bit, & then get on our big, grand boat to Mexico.

Mayhem is sure to follow.

Before I leave you on this day that means something very different to you, let me share a new favorite. Happy VD!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The One, The Last, The Only

I need to say one thing up front - I love my mother. I really do. Very much. Having said that, I need to follow that by saying that the woman is crazier than a shithouse rat.

Some of you have heard various stories about my mom's antics, whether in person or from my former blog. Like how she has no doorknobs in her house, only deadbolts. And how she snuck out the back door when the sheriff showed up to serve my dad with divorce papers (no, she hadn't told him). Or how she's convinced that my supposedly evil cousin from New Mexico allegedly makes it a habit to come to her house just to get into her garage so that he can break in to her deepfreezes (never mind the fact that she lives alone & has more than one - or that nothing's ever missing). Oh, how I could go on...

Why am I bringing this up?

My brother (give me a medal, I didn't call him "my parents' son"!) & his girlfriend/fiancee'/baby mama had a baby yesterday. (Yay....another child born to a historically unhappy, dysfunctional family. It's sad to say, but the extended family isn't thrilled.) They didn't want to find out the sex of the baby because my brother wanted to be "surprised".'s either a girl or a boy, & certainly not a pony, so I don't get the mystique. Anyway, since they already had a boy (9 years ago), the consensus was that it would be a girl. Putting aside the obligatory "As long as it's healthy", my mom really wanted a girl.

It's a boy.

Now, if I had to choose, I also wanted a girl so that it would even up the nephew/niece numbers. It's a good thing I didn't really care either way because obviously I wasn't going to get my way on this.

Last night, I called each of my parents to congratulate them on their new grandchild - you know, because it's the right thing to do. Dad was fine, but seemed to be more excited about babysitting for the girls while we're in Mexico. Mom, while not overly enthused like she was 9 years ago, was a different story.

When I heard her voice on the line, it sounded like she'd been sleeping. After lamenting that she didn't get a girl, I soon found out otherwise when she said:

"Iiiii have my guuurl. You. You're my guuurl. You're the one, the last, the only."

Uh oh. Mom was hittin' the sauce.

After listening to her ramble on about how bad her day had been (& aside from the kid, it was pretty bad), I needed to get off the phone. I had my own sauce to hit, & Doug was waiting patiently to hear what was going on. Oh, & to drink the wine we'd picked out. Luckily, Mom was really tired & wanted to go to bed, so getting off the phone was her idea. However, not before she said it one last time...

"Claire, you're the one, the last, the only."

Man, I don't even want to know what that drunken riddle was about, but ok, I'm it, people. Now, don't you forget it.

On to our wine... We picked up a fantastic Malbec at Lukas a few weeks ago for under $15 (we think it was $12.99, but we're not sure) - the 2005 Valle Las Acequias Malbec from the wonderful wine region of Mendoza, Argentina. (Sadly, I can't find a link that's really worthwhile.) If you're one that cares about what Robert Parker thinks, he put this wine on his best buy list, & I agree with him. This 100% Malbec kicks ass - it's dark, lush, smooth, & delicious. I can't wait to get more!

Yeah, the wine was a great way to unwind & reflect on that phone conversation...& as always, Doug is so happy that I'm adopted.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Run, Don't Walk

Knock a stop off of the "Doug & Claire's Top Secret West County Wine Tasting Tour"...

The Wine Merchant sent me an email yesterday to let me know that it was closing their Creve Couer location...& yes, they mentioned "the economy". Doesn't everybody these days? Anyway, I immediately sent the email to Doug because they're having a sale...& who doesn't love a sale on wine?! Mind you, this isn't clearance wine that you may or may not have to guess if it's still good - this is stuff that's on the racks right now. We remembered when a different wine store closed a few years ago (not because of "the economy"), & how we waited too long (only 3 days) to take advantage of the sale, so we rushed right over after work.

It's a damn good thing that we did.

Some of the inventory had been sent to their other location, & a ton of wine had been sold that day. Winos don't mess around when there's a store closing! There was still a somewhat decent selection left at that time, so we picked up 3 bottles that were the only ones left of their kind - including our beloved Dare Cab Franc - & enjoyed a lovely 20% discount. We expected that it would be 20%, but we weren't sure since, by law, they can't tell you in the email. I can, however, so there you go, 20% nice, a benefit from reading this blog. Oh, & the sale includes any beer & spirits left, too. (If you haven't picked up on this by now, you'd better go today if you want anything more than the dregs.)

How do we feel about this store closing? Truthfully, we're quite fine with it. While it was on "the tour", it was always the very last stop & we rarely made it that far. Besides, now we can look forward to walking into the Clayton shop where they can tell by your pheremones that you're not financially wealthy & then treat you accordingly.

Gotta love that.