I was reading some other…

I was reading some other journal this morning where someone was talking about breast reduction surgery, and how her back had been hurting, and then I noticed that my back was aching, and maybe it's because I've been talking with Debby about how my hands are getting worse these days, and what I can do to alleviate the problem so I don't have to have surgery on them, but I started wondering if it really made sense to just ignore the fact that my breasts are at least a couple of sizes too big for my frame and are probably causing unnecessary back strain. But the thought of actually looking into surgery, and researching cost and skill, and then letting someone cut into me, not to mention the fact that while I could certainly charge it, I can't really afford it, is just overwhelming, and I suspect I will just ignore the problem a while longer.

Anyway. (Y'all don't really want to hear about my breasts anyway, right?)

I never did give you the Napa tour, and though you've heard the gist from Columbine already (what, you don't read our journals in sequence? :-), I did want to detail it a bit for those who might be thinking of doing some wine-tasting of their own:

  • Robert Mondavi: We started here, with a pre-scheduled 11:00 tour (which necessitated leaving Oakland at roughly 9:40 a.m., for those scheduling trips). This is a production tour, and we got to see the vines and the containers and the barrels and all that good stuff. It wasn't as good a tour as the last time I went on it -- the tour guide seemed not quite as knowledgable as the last, and tended to fill in gaps with rah rah Robert Mondavi! which was a bit annoying. But the last one had been really good, so it may just be luck of the draw. You end up in a tasting room, where they do teach you a little about tasting wines (so it's a good place to start touring), and we had some wine. The group consensus seemed to be that it was all right wine, but overpriced at $30ish/bottle.

  • V. Sattui: This is about ten minutes north of Mondavi, and a marvelous place to have lunch. They have a truly excellent deli, and with some picnic supplies and a bottle of wine (we recommend the '97 Johannisberg Riesling Dry), you can have a truly civilized (or decadent, depending on your point of view) lunch under the trees and sunshine. They also have pretty funny guys pouring in the tasting room, so it's fun to taste with them. They don't sell their wines in stores, only at the winery and by mail-order (and web-order), which is a shame, 'cause they're really quite good and reasonably priced. I picked up a $12 bottle of Muscat for the May party (sweet, elegant, light dessert wine), and was sorely tempted by the Rieslings. Debby picked up a mixed case of Off-Dry Riesling (slightly sweeter than the Dry), Merlot, and something else I'm forgetting. Todd and Par both bought a bottle of their yummy $23 Madeira (a little out of my price range). Worth stopping at, without a doubt.

  • Beringer. We finished here, because we were all starting to droop a bit (at 3:30). Beringer has perhaps the most beautiful grounds...really gorgeous landscaping and houses. They're also pretty darn old as California wineries go, and we took their historical tour (45 minutes), which takes you down into the clay cellars in the side of the mountain where they store their wine. The tour guide was less annoying than the Mondavi one -- more relaxed and open. It was really pleasant. We ended in a tasting room; the wines there were fine, and I rather liked their Chardonnay, but nothing impressed us as much as the ones at V. Sattui had.
We had thought of stopping at a few other places: Sutter Home does free tastings, Whitehall Lane I hear has good wines at $3/tasting, and Domaine Chandon apparently does an excellent production tour for their sparkling wines (*not* champagne -- apparently you can only call it champagne if it's actually made in Champagne, France), though their tasting prices are a bit steep at $8/person. But we were tired, and it was good to go home. Maybe next time we'll skip Mondavi.

I have a story idea, so I'm off to poke at it now. Will talk to you munchkins later...hope you're having a good week!

10:20. Well, the story I was thinking about writing focused on Chaya's (from "Bodies in Motion") mother. So I thought I'd reread that piece before I started working on the new one. And I ended up making drastic changes to it, which may or may not affect the new piece. I've sent it off to my trusted comrades in fiction, with the hope that they can tell me if I've done good or damaged the poor story beyond repair. I don't trust my instincts on revisions. I know they are sometimes necessary, but the story ends up feeling all patchy to me. And I positively hate throwing out good lines. I had to get rid of several paragraphs I really liked to change this ending to the one that I think makes more sense, and I got cranky and crabby as a result and I think stinted the new ending on good lines out of some sense of misplaced blame. My poor story.

I'm going out flower shopping with Ellie for a bit. Hopefully that will give me time to let the ideas for the new story percolate a bit more -- they're still somewhat vague. I have the core event, the central hinge on which the story will turn, but I'm not sure what events happen before, or after. Also not sure how much time to cover -- do I take it up to the present, to the time of Chaya's story, or do I end it much earlier? Do I start it right after Chaya's mom's wedding, or much later? Decisions decisions...

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