Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

New Year's (Of Course) And Wine

Alright, the “season” is officially over, and I can move on with my life. The holidays pinned me down, committed countless horrific deeds, and left me to live with the consequences. I am now fatter, more tired, and have likely acquired a new wrinkle or two. I am not impressed with its behaviour whatsoever.

For the longest blog entry about a kitty ever, visit the Jan.2 entry on this site.

This guy really had it in for pelicans. All they wanted was some shrimp.

New Year’s was not bad, but it didn’t rock my world either. For the whole week leading up to the new year, I experienced intense mood swings unlike anything I have ever had before. I am not the kind of person who gets angry with any regularity, but I found myself filled with bursting, silent rages, suffering the woe of bruised emotions, imagining the decline of others’ love for me. New Year’s Eve was no different. The Fiery One and I had not made any hard and fast plans for our evening, and as it closed in on 10:30 pm, I realized that no one had called me all day. I took this as a sign that not only was I the least loved person on the planet, but that to pursue any kind of celebration that night not only was a total waste of time but also could only serve as a brutal reminder of the emptiness of my existence. I grabbed my boots from the entrance anyway and began to put them on, because I came to the conclusion that as depressing as going out to ring in the new year would be, it would be even more depressing to wait it out at home while contemplating all that is melancholic. Halfway through putting on my boots and having an aggravating conversation with the Fiery One in which neither of us would come to a decision, I started to cry like a tired child. I knew at that point that if I did not get out of the apartment before 11:00 pm, I was going to lose it completely, so we settled on going to our friends’ house party and called ourselves a taxi. By the time we arrived there, I had managed to pull myself together phenomenally well and even came to enjoy the lovely Wolf Blass Yellow Label that the Fiery One’s mother had bought us for Christmas. Thank god for decent wine. The party was really mellow, with the thirty-plus crowd hanging around upstairs, and the twenty-ish crowd sticking to the tiki basement. Those twenty-somethings are sure becoming a strange bunch. Every now and again, we would elect one of us upstairs folk to descend into the basement in order to bring back some beer from the keg the 20s were harbouring. As soon as anyone older entered their domain, all conversation would cease and the uncomfortable staring would begin. It was like none of them had come into contact with our kind before and were worried about making sudden moves. Either that, or they had aligned us with the parental types who might take away their pot. Upstairs, the Fiery One and one of his professional peers waxed ridiculous as they brainstormed ideas for series pilot for CBC. Picture, if you will, a farmer’s field in which many people have lost their legs to the gopher holes that pepper the landscape, and miraculously, these legs take root and wave gently in the prairie breeze while farmer and son contemplate the riches they will surely reap from the sales of those limbs to amputees come fall. It was agreed that they should keep working on the pilot idea. Midnight finally rolled around, and the Fiery One and I made out on huge chair, and I was no longer questioning all of existence but simply enjoying the flush of good wine and the warmth of his lips. 2004 had come upon me whether I wallowed in misery or sucked face on a kick-ass chair. If given a choice, I would choose the chair, and I did. Thanks, New Year’s Eve. You reminded me that adolescent emotional waves are just that – adolescent; I am a grown woman, a strong woman, a woman who will remember for at least a little while that it is up to me to get off my ass when life is less rosey.

For pictures I like to look at, check out this blog.

It is so nice to have found a fellow knitter. No one I know well knits.

Wine Facts and Links:

* Robert Mondavi has a good glossary of wine terms.

* Terroir is a combination of climate, soil and exposure to the elements. Wind, shelter, irrigation and vineyard location all matter. Generally, the best wines are produced under conditions where terroir is only warm enough to just ripen the grapes.

* Tannin is a phenolic compound that preserves the wine. Found mostly in the skins, seeds and stems it also gives structure to wines. Graceful aging of red wines is a function of tannin. To identify tannin, rinse a mouthful of cold black tea round your palate and notice which parts of your mouth react. It has a bitter flavor that seems to dry out your mouth. Tannin doesn't have a smell.

* Why should the host drink the first pour out of a freshly opened bottle of wine? For two reasons: 1) If there are any cork fragments left in the bottle, they will float, and most will enter the first glass poured. The host should accept this to ensure that the guests get a clean pour. 2) In order to test a restaurant wine for "goodness". If a wine has "turned" and is undrinkable, this short sample pour provides the host (in a restaurant setting) the opportunity to order a replacement bottle before his guests' palates are compromised.

* One bottle of wine contains 2.4 pounds of grapes! For this and other fun wine facts, go to Travel Envoy’s Wine Guide.

* 85% of the wines served in North America are produced in California.

* 20 million acres of grapes are planted worldwide, and wine grapes rank as #1 among the world’s fruit crops for the amount of acres planted. Go to this site for more.

* Some blame Red Wine Headache syndrome, or RWH (afflicting 1% of the population), on the sulfites present in red wine, yet many white wines contain more sulfites than reds and do not impact on RWH sufferers. Sulfites can cause an allergic reaction but will only cause headaches in those with asthma. Other possible causes of RWH are tannins or histamines, but no one really knows the actual cause.

* 61% of all wines made in Burgundy are white wines.

The Bad, The Good, And Pants

A Non-Scary Christmas, Happy Birthday, My Rebel 2000, Our Rebel 2000, Bad Photography, Hyphenation, And Old-School Cameras