my oh-so-normal life

Location: California, United States

There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. (the five people you meet in heaven)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chegar no Brasil

I land in São Paolo, and I’m a little nervous. I know my Portuguese sucks, but I’ve been around the world. I can handle this. I am actually the first person off my empty flight, but as I try to figure out where I need to go through customs, etc., I let a Brazilian guy who was sitting not too far from me pass me so that I can follow him. When we get down to passport control, the official is asking, “Brasileros? Are you Brazilian?” I’m wearing black travel pants, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes. I feel obviously American. He’s asking me if I’m Brazilian? Come on, you’ve got to be kidding me.

I am finally waiting for the next flight to Rio, standing in line to board when the couple behind me asks me a question. I turn around and look at them and say, “Não comprendo.” They look surprised and ask someone else.

I finally make it to Rio. I get my checked bag and head over to the taxi desk inside baggage claim. I ask in broken Portuguese about a taxi. The woman fires off and gives me the explanation. I follow for the most part. I pay for a roundtrip ride and head outside to find the taxi.

After loading my bag, I tell the driver my hotel name. He asks if it’s on such and such a street, and I see that it is on the reservation. After we get more into town, he notices that I have covered myself with my fleece because the air conditioning is so high. “Tem frio?” I speak with him a bit, and he asks me if I’m from Argentina. This is getting weirder and weirder.

In Europe, I feel that people always know that I’m not European even when I’m speaking the language. In Japan, it’s obvious. Yet, here I am, in Brazil, where I can barely speak a sentence, and at first glance everyone thinks I’m Brazilian.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Such Is Life....


Friday, March 05, 2010


So I was at the grocery store last weekend and walked past the wine sampling. The man who was doing the sampling came over from wherever he was to ask if I wanted a sample. I wasn't feeling it, plus it was a dollar a sample, so I decided to pass. I was talking to S on the phone, and she told me that I should buy some wine.

So, what does a good girl do? Buy a case, of course. Must take advantage of the 10% discount on the case. So, I was pulling bottles and putting them in my box. Suddenly, the sample man came over and asked, "Do you need any help?"

I replied, "No."

He asked, "Are you sure?"

I just looked at him and said, "Mmm Hmm." What I really wanted to say was, "Are you trying to make me feel insecure?" or "What? I'm a chick, so I'm not supposed to know anything about wine?" or (my personal favorite) "I know you're much older than I am, but I do know my wines."

Instead, I sent S a text message. New case of wine. Life is good.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Word of the Day for Monday, September 14, 2009

crapulous \KRAP-yuh-lus\, adjective:

1. Given to or characterized by gross excess in drinking or eating.
2. Suffering from or due to such excess.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Quote of the Day
-courtesy of S

"I wanted to improve my memory, so I bought Ginkgo Biloba. But, I keep forgetting to take it!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ordering Wine
Seriously? You've got to be kidding me....


Monday, December 29, 2008

There Are Days....

And today is one of them. I had to be at work by 6 a.m. I turned off my alarm and thought, "I need to get going." I brush my teeth, wash my face, and head to the kitchen. How did it get to be 20 of? I'm going to be late.
I rush out the door with my hastily made lunch and drive like a bat out of hell. I glance over at the clock on my dashboard only to realize... it's 5 minutes to 5, not 5 minutes to 6.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Blue Ridge Mountains

We told everyone that we were going to wineries and going hiking. Sunday morning we headed north looking for a park that a woman working at 21 & Main had told us about. (BTW, if you are ever in Elkin, you should check this place out. We ate twice in the wine bar---very cool and the hamburger was fabulous.)
Somehow, we ended up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Gorgeous scenery. Absolutely stunning. And we found a place to hike. Plenty of places to picnic (with lots of wine in the traveling bar to choose from.) Life is good.

Even better was stopping for dinner in a place in South-western Virginia called Galax. We weren't sure how to pronounce it and were going to ask the server. Surprisingly, we forgot (ha), but of course remembered just after we were outside. I spied a local and asked him, "Excuse me, how do you pronounce the name of this town?" He looked and me bug-eyed with his jaw hanging down and answered "Gay-lacks" with a huge drawl.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Grassy Creek Winery

Somehow, we made it to this very cool little winery just 20 minutes or so before they closed. Tastings for $3 (yea!), and cool ballcaps for $5. We chatted with the two men behind the counter, looking for a good Italian spot. The younger one was telling us about a place his friend owned, just down the roads, with no liquor license, but he could get us in with some wine, so we agreed to follow him there despite the weird comments he had made about his wife and asking us if we were “together-together.” So, we are starved. All we’ve had all day is chips and dips, so we are looking forward to an actual meal given all the alcohol and that it’s now after 6. So, when Jason heads down a hill, we think he’s taking a short-cut to the food.
Jason pulls down to a pond and tells us this is where he goes fishing, blah, blah, blah. We’re still hungry. (It really is all about food.) Then Jason tries to impress us by whizzing back up the hill, only to start spinning and sliding backwards. Scared me a bit. Then he waves us on. My heart pounding and remembering snowy lessons from my dad with a car with rear-wheel drive, I put it in D3, step slowly on the gas, and begin up the hill. S yells out the window at Jason to put it in low gear. Even with all that, there was a moment the tires of our Sebring convertible slipped on the red clay. My heart was pounding. We made it to the top and walked back down to find Jason inches from the edge of the pond. In a car that did not belong to him. We took him to get the tractor to pull out the car, but after dropping him off, we ditched him and headed to the winery open until 10. Old North State Winery---very cool, but the food leaves a bit to be desired.) We had no desire to stay in the area with Creepy Jason around. In fact, we canceled our plans to go back hiking the next morning and headed out to find better adventures instead.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yadkin Valley

Even today, I don’t know how, but S managed to find this area. I hate to be a snob, but after France and northern California, other wine regions have to really put up a fight to get my attention. We decided to stay in Jonesville because the Jonesville/Elkin area seemed to have such a great concentration of vineyards. There is actually an area within the Yadkin Valley called The Swan Creek Wine Trail comprised of five wineries that have their own appellation. S and I managed to visit these five in one day (plus a few more.)
I must admit, it’s a bit of a toss-up, which was my favorite. The views at both Dobbins Creek and Raffaldini were amazing. The wines at both were decent, but the memories of the trip far outweigh any tastings. Shadow Springs Vineyard had a strawberry wine. I refused to taste any of the sweet wines, but I relented on this one because of the song. (“Strawberry wine, seventeen…”) It was amazing. It tasted just like strawberries. Phenomenal. But two sips were enough. We headed out from here to Dobbins Creek with its amazing views. Great place to sit and enjoy a glass.
View from Dobbins
Then we headed off to Raffaldini which was full of fun. S and I got some wine (and some hats… “Raffaldini…Chianti in the Carolinas”) and headed out to the patio to sit around a large table in the late afternoon sun. We sat sipping our wine, taking pics, when an elderly woman approached us and asked if the other seats at our table were free. We told her yes, but S added that there was a price to pay. If she wanted to sit at our table, she had to take a picture of us. The woman looked down at her camera, looked at us, and asked, “But, how will you get the picture if I take it with my camera?” I quickly told her she could take it with ours. She walked off to take some photos of the scenery, and S turned to me and said. “Her name must be Beverly or Stella.” We decided B/S would do for short, but she turned out to be Rose. She took our picture, we took a few more scenic shots, shots of each other jumping in the air (I’m so glad we are so unconcerned about what other people think of us!), some more photos by strangers, and then decided to see what else was out there.

View from Raffaldini

According to our brochure, there were two other wineries, one open until 9, the other til 10. We headed off to the one open until 9, only to find that it had actually closed at 5. We whipped around with S’s great directions to our next adventure….