THE DRUNK BACKWARD XI: LIVE FROM THE DEUCE’S CATHOUSE, THE WHINO’S STUDIO AND INTRODUCING K2′S DILAPIDATED HEADSPACE, PLUS ZOMBIE WIVES, SUSPICIOUS CATS, ADMISSIONS OF ASSHOLENESS AND RUNAWAY TREKKIE TALK

This week has been nothing short of what I believe warp speed is like.  For all you non-Trekkies out there, warp speed is what the starships travel at to get through large expanses of the universe in extremely short amounts of time.  It was as if I blinked once on Tuesday last week, and one more blink – BOOM!  It’s April 3rd!

In my professional life, I am trying to mend fences as it were, and putting to rest a lot of low-self-esteem demons.  I ran into a former colleague and still, good friend at the store over the weekend, and squashed the tales from certain folks that this person moved on because of me.  Now, I realize I can be a royal pain in the ass most of the time, but knowing that this person quit because of something I did has really haunted me.  The reason for this person’s departure was in fact, what makes most of us move on – money and opportunity.  A huge sense of relief hit me all day after talking with this person.  I have felt like a world-class prick for what has been going on 5, maybe 6 years.  And come review time, it has been eluded to me that I made this person head for the door.  Which has made the current situation with my current partner in the department all the more problematic.

Now, I have talked about how rough I have been on Shannon, and indeed it’s true.  It has been a really difficult adjustment.  I’ve worked in family businesses before, and have never seen them go anywhere but down.  Yet my attitude has become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, and quite frankly has made me pretty tired of it all.  So I have made some considerable efforts to meet Shannon half-way, and with any luck, I think we will finally start making for a good team professionally.

Sometimes I can be a real stubborn prick (just ask my wife).

Wine Reviewed: 39 + 1 bourbon.

Wine of the Week: TIE:  Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva Finca Ygay 2005 and Vina Ventisquero Cabernet Sauvignon Grey Single Block 2009.

Good news in the wine biz: The folks over at VinTank have compiled the list of the 9 most important wine bloggers at this very moment – a list I am fairly certain will never boast my name.  Big cheers though for the mention of my West Coast wine brother, Jameson Fink, who was singled out as the one to watch.  Check out his blog at http://jamesonfink.com/.

Bad news in the wine biz:  The vine shortage in California may mean higher wine prices.  But then, this news story may be the product of a Republican writing staff, I don’t know.

Disturbing news in the wine biz: Actually this doesn’t fall under DISTURBING so much as SURPRISING, Banfi Vintners is expanding their international wine empire with the announcement of their impending acquisition of Kenwood Vineyards of Sonoma County.   After having been at this so long, this merger shouldn’t really be that much of a shock, but like a five-year-old at Christmas time, these news announcements never fail to surprise.

On the homefront: It seems like every morning, my wife and I talk about the same thing – what she did the night before in her sleep.  For those of you new to the Grape Tree, my wife deals with a number of health issues, and as part of her treatment, she has been prescribed many pills.  This in conjunction with a lifelong problem with sleep (sleep walking, apnea, fitful dreams, talking in her sleep, etc., etc.) makes for quite the interesting night on an almost-regular basis.

Last night wasn’t particularly event-filled; about all she really did was carry on as if to be in an argument with individuals who, in her words, “had British accents.”  99% of every night at the Keith house consists of only my wife and I, and the high energy play of 6 hyperactive cats (as well as our office, which hosts our two “old lady” cats who no longer like to socialize with their brethren).

She has seen doors that aren’t there, heard partying that wasn’t ever there, had conversations at length with people from all over the world, and tried to wander around the house as if she is foraging through the forest.  At times, it can be downright hysterical.  Other times, like when she has fallen down the steps (I’d estimate 10 times, half of those ending in a concussion, broken bones, or in one nasty case, 15+ stitches in her mouth) as well as falling in the bathroom and breaking the toilet once.

I sometimes think I am constantly being tested by the Man Upstairs on my endurance and patience, because though I project myself as being a patient man, sometimes I am far from it.  My wife has so many bruises and scars from falling down between nocturnal restroom visits, or falling off the bed in fits of unconscious panic, yet when I recount her bedtime shenanigans, she almost always finds them hilarious.  And she has given me carte blanche to retell those tales to you.  I think she’s gonna be sorry.

What is on my playlist?: I heard this band Halestorm on the radio the other day and I have become an instant fan.  They are simply awesome!  And I’ve been listening to old Flatt and Scruggs; reminds me of my Grandpa Keith playing banjo on his patio, which was on the other side of the lake from my house growing up.  The sound of summer coming…

What wine(s) is (are) impressing me right now at the store?: Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009 (I am just as surprised as you are about this admission) and Roederer Estate Brut Rose Anderson Valley NV (a gorgeous pink sparkler from California).

Recommended reads, blog or otherwise:  Picked up FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS by Hunter S. Thompson again.  Just started rereading it.  A truly hilarious read.

What’s on tap for this week?: I have absolutely no idea, but isn’t that for the best?

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