a newer one »Now? Then?

The gods are cruel


I don't particularly like most alcoholic drinks. Most don't taste good, usually make me shudder, and have the unpleasant side effect of drunkenness. This has been true since I first started drinking in college. Sure, I could choke down a beer, or finish a (small) glass of wine, but likely as not I'd leave a half finished drink somewhere rather than finish it.

Wine coolers were a college exception, as you couldn't really taste the alcohol.

At my second job out of college, my boss, Wook (one of the best people on this planet, I should mention), didn't drink alcohol because he didn't like the taste. His declaration made me realize a person could, wow, CHOOSE not to drink alcohol because it doesn't taste good. The thought was revolutionary to me.

I stopped drinking, for the most part.

When I started dating Kris, not drinking became even easier, as he didn't drink either.

There was the occasional glass, like once a year or something, but few enough that I could count the number of alcoholic drinks on one hand, counting the number of sodas on the other.

And then I started working for V.A.

I swear, between Ariel and Pine, Aaron and Bharat, I was encouraged to drink more alcohol than any small person should be allowed to. And I drank it willingly, don't let my wording make you think differently. There's video were I redefine the Arabic number system when completely drunk. It is spectacular.

The alcohol was more the exception than the rule, though. The Whiskey Expo and Doyle's cocktail party are the big ones I can think of. I think in the last year I've left more glasses of wine and open-but-just-tasted bottles of beer for Kris and my mom than I ever even drank in college.

I've grown fond of the "take a sip, switch the glasses with someone who's finished" trick as of late.

So, when Kris, Heather and I went to Santa Barbara for Andy's birthday and spent most of the day tasting wine, I can't say I was particularly hopeful I'd find anything I like. I just don't like the tannins taste in wine, the bitter taste in beer, or the shudder factor of hard alcohol. I realize this, I'm good with it. I don't need anything but the slightest of sips.

And then the heavens opened up, pouring light and music and joy down unto the earth.

We found the Oreana 2006 Verdelho.

To say this is the best wine ever created might be a slight exaggeration IN YOUR BOOK. It's not on my blog. I immediately wanted to buy a case of the stuff.

Kris wouldn't let me, allowing me only 3 bottles.

They lasted about 2 weeks.

I kept asking Andy to bring up bottles when he journeyed north. I kept asking Heather to bring bottles back when she journeyed south. Eventually, I gave up on both those ideas, and found the winery's website, ordered 6 bottles online and had them shipped.

I managed to share one with friends at a communal dinner, where share means "take to the dinner and run away before it was opened, lest I drink the whole bottle myself, it's that good." The rest, oh, the rest are mine mine mine!

Of the remaining five, I've had two of them so far. The first bottle was with Mom, and took us two days to drink. The other bottle was with Mark and Megan this past weekend as they came over for dinner. Except, not really "over for dinner." More like, "Megan fed us in our own house" dinner. I'm still not sure how we managed such love.

There was about a 1/4 bottle left of the wine, so I had a glass of it on Monday night.

And woke up Tuesday morning at six a.m. with my right hand numb.

Now, at first I didn't notice the numbness as anything unusual. In my ongoing effort to sit up straight and get rid of that dowager hump that's forming on my neck, I managed to pinch a nerve in my shoulder, causing my left arm to go numb any time I do sit up straight (if ever there's an argument to slouch, that one works). So, I was half asleep and my hand was numb, whatever, right?

But it was my right hand. A realization I took a bit to make.

Aw crap.

I lasted until 2:30, when I was driving back from a meeting. I was about a quarter mile from home when I realized my vision was going: my migraine auras were starting up. I drove home as quickly as I could, losing only about 20% of my vision by the time I pulled into the driveway, and fortunately all of that along the outside periphery.

Phone call here, text message there, two Omega 3 pills, one magnesium, two Tylenol™ and one doggie in the bed later, and I was out to the world.

This is the second time in two bottles that I've had the bottom quarter or so of the bottle, then had a migraine the next day. The last one was that first bottle of Oreana Verdelho from last month. That migraine was also one of the big ones.

I'm very unhappy about this realization. Wine and cheese are indeed known triggers for migraines. I hadn't linked them to my migraines, though. It could be the bottom of the bottle, too, as I didn't have a migraine after dinner with Mark and Megan. It could also be the effect of food with the wine that helped me out.

Regardless, I find this whole connection completely unfair. I shake my fists at the sky! I mean, come on! I find the most incredible wine EVER, and it makes me go blind?

How fair is that?