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My drive to work is 20-ish minutes.  I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it.  I actually like driving.  And driving by myself gets extra points, because  I can roll down the windows (even though it’s 85 degrees out with 85% humidity), turn the volume way up (my hearing goes down the tube a little more everyday), and listen to any damn song I want.  Sometimes I’ll listen to the same song on repeat, until I have that entire chorus memorized.  Sometimes I actually take my hands off the steering wheel (only at red lights, of course!) to clap along to my live in concert Madonna CD, as if I were standing in the stadium.  I also like to transport myself back to 1998 and thrown on a classic Oakenfold track.  Sometimes I think I could be on broadway as I sing entire songs from the Rent or Evita soundtrack.

Whatev.

But other times, I just like to listen to talk radio.  I heart NPR.  And in the morning, sometimes I’m lucky to catch a clip from the StoryCorps segment.  If you haven’t heard it, check it out.  The stories I’ve heard have made me laugh out loud and brought me close to tears.  Behold, the power of a good ol’ story or Q-and-A session.  It’s not always about asking the right questions, rather it’s about listening and getting an awesome answer.  Maybe it’s not the answer you were looking for, but …

Whether it’s music (Leslie), movies (Orly) or food (Jeremy), one comes to rely on a good source.  And, once I find that source (or two), I tend to be very loyal.  It’s my nature.  If I like something, I like it – and I honor the code through both good times and bad times.  For instance, after I saw Evita I thought, “Huh!  Madonna really can act and sing!”  Then, I saw Swept Away and thought, “Huh!  Madonna really isn’t a very good actress.”  Nonetheless, I own both Evita and Swept Away on DVD.  I’m veering from my original point here…which was…oh, a good source!

So, there’s a small wine store – Chill Wine – a few blocks from where I work and I have come to rely on the guy that works there for honest, solid recommendations.  I know, I know: he’s still a salesman.  But, also an enthusiast (there are surely damn good appliance salesmen out there, but are they really enthusiastic about washers & dryers?).  In any event, on my first visit, he pointed me toward some viogniers and, in particular, an Australian one – Shinas Estate Voignier.  And, to seal the deal, the label art was cool.  Sold. 

A few more visits, and nothing but a few more great recommendations.  Then, he points out a chenin blanc from South Africa.  Chenin blanc?  I had never heard of it, but given his description of the Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc (crisp fruity flavors) and the price point (under $15), once more, I was sold.  Now, I am loving the chenin blanc.  I’m no expert on wine, so I can’t give you much more of a review than “I really like it, and it doesn’t give me a headache,” but I hope you try it 🙂 

From the International Herald Tribune:

Among grapes, only riesling rivals chenin blanc for versatility. The range extends from the steely dry yet profound Savennières to the lusciously sweet, honeyed wines of Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux.

The reason for chenin blanc’s versatility, as with riesling’s, is the grape’s remarkable acidity. Far from being a flaw, acidity gives a white wine structure, length and integrity, allowing it to exhibit its aromas and flavors without collapsing into a fatiguing puddle. A well-modulated acidity keeps a wine refreshing even if it is sweet. Too much acidity, though, can make a wine harsh.

 Read the entire article here.

Of course, the usual good stuff: fantastic family, a hunky hubbo, fabo friends.

But, I am also thankful for…MADONNA!  Steph & I conquered yet another Madonna concert in Miami, the Sticky & Sweet 2008 tour!!  Wooo-hooo!!  Really, who else puts on a show that includes everything from jump roping to violins.  And joining Madonna last night on stage were two very special guests – Timberland and Pharrell!  Oh, and her opening act, oldie but goodie, DJ Paul Oakenfold!  Whew!  Only Madonna can pack a stadium on Thanksgiving eve!!! 

Now, onto TURKEY!  Love this holiday!!  Do nothing but eat?  I’m in, way in.  And, I’m attempting my first apple pie this year.  It’s surely not winning any awards based on beauty, but…..we’ll see how it tastes 😉  Should be a fabulous low-key Thanksgiving this year at Mom K’s. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!! 

 

And now I digress on upcoming events. More specifically, getting married. Remember when high school graduation was around the corner, and everything was, “Oh, this is our last time skipping school together!” or “Can you believe this is our last high school party together?” Now, with my nuptials around the corner, friends are calling in to ask, “How was your last weekend being single?
We trade our Converse for high heels; our college sweats for work suits; and yes, eventually, our naked fingers for one particularly dressed ring finger. And, is it with that one particularly dressed ring finger that our life changes…a little bit? Somewhat? Significantly?
Will our single friends still want to hang out with us? Do we have to seek out more married friends? Will we each gain 25 lbs. and not even notice? Do we merge our CD collections and donate the duplicates? What if I want to change sides of the bed? Really important stuff here, people.
Of course, there’s no way of knowing all the answers. In fact, we don’t need to know all the answers. The experience of finding the questions is much more valuable.

Too much of no sound
uncomfortable silence can be so loud.

-lyrics from Miles Away on Madonna’s Hard Candy album

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