Wednesday Whine: Don’t Forget to Dunk

imageIt’s Wednesday once again… and I’m ready to pour the wine. Here’s a glass for each of us. In spite of the red wine shown in the photo, I’m going to tempt you with a pinot grigio I like very much – the Santa Margherita. I hope it meets with your approval.  It has a nice, dry taste, crisp and clean, and very light.

So, how was your Thanksgiving holiday? I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a nice time with family and friends. In spite of several hours of heavy snowfall last Wednesday, the roads where I live remained clear and we were able to visit our friends and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, the crazy rush is on for the Christmas season. It’s time for buying gifts and wrapping them. It’s also time for decorating the house, making Christmas cookies, planning the Christmas dinner and trying to fit in as many holiday get-togethers as possible.

I’m feeling stressed already. Good thing I have my glass of Santa Margherita on hand as I contemplate the long list of tasks to get ready for Christmas day.images9VT2B3YK

Fortunately, my husband and I managed to decorate the house just prior to Thanksgiving, and almost all of my Christmas shopping is finished. I’ve even wrapped a bunch of gifts… now I just need to get some of them to the U.S. Post Office for their journey across the Atlantic to friends on the other side of ‘the Pond.’

I’m always amazed that things somehow fall into place each year. One minute I am contemplating how on earth I will get everything done… and the next minute, somehow I’ve managed to accomplish everything. It’s a mystery!

Under the heading of ‘Stupid Things I’ve Done’ comes this little gem. This past Saturday while wrapping Christmas gifts, I had a cup of my favorite blend of Christmas coffee. Could there be anything better than having a sip of your favorite holiday brew while standing in the midst of a bunch of Christmas clutter? Surrounded by empty gift boxes, brightly colored tissue paper, ribbons, bows, tape and rolls of giftwrap, I surveyed the scene with some despair. I clung to my coffee mug in much the same manner as a drowning man clinging to a life raft. Only one thought ran through my head: where do I begin? Just getting started seemed an insurmountable task.

images1IZLRDCRHoping to momentarily escape the chaos surrounding me, my mind suddenly recalled the black-and-white biscotti I’d purchased earlier in the day.

What could be better? Christmas coffee and biscotti! Yum!

Not so yum, I’m afraid. As I bit down on the biscotti, I felt a slight pop on the right side of my jaw. Didn’t hurt my tooth, but, boy, did that biscotti do a number on my jaw, which has since protested with regularity. I am still waiting for the slight discomfort to end and hopeful that a visit to Dr. Jawbone Expert won’t be in order.

When sharing my tale of woe with my friend, Heather B. Costa, she sympathetically offered, “Didn’t you dunk? Don’t you know you’re supposed to dunk those things in coffee, not bite down on ‘em?”

Uh… well… yeah…

I don’t know what possessed me to bite down on one. It was rather like one of those moments in life where you stand at a crossroads: to dunk or not to dunk? I was feeling wild, reckless, even!  For whatever reason, I chose not to dunk.

Instead, I bit down.

I should have dunked.

Next time (once they unwire my jaw, that is), I will dunk.

Or maybe next time I’ll just stay the hell away from cookies that have the feel and texture of a rock.

W.K. Tucker, another pal of mine, mentioned last week that I failed to whine in my previous edition of the Wednesday Whine. I am making up for it with this post. I’m whining big time.

Self-pity, surely thy name is Kate Loveton (the woman with the dislocated jaw!).

Anyway, a word to the wise: when handling biscotti, remember to dunk.

On to other things…

I am currently reading a Wally Lamb novel, We Are Water. I am generally a fan of Wally Lamb’s novels. She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True are among my favorite books. Lamb is a keen and compassionate observer of human nature, and his stories about people dealing with tough emotional problems always hold me hostage. His novels make me laugh and cry, and I generally walk away from them feeling I’ve learned something about how human beings relate to one another.9780061941023

I am having a tough time with We Are Water, though, and I’m having trouble figuring out where the book is headed. I’m thirty percent of the way through, and I keep waiting for the story lines to coalesce in a way that is meaningful to me.

I am not overly fond of the character the story appears to center around and that might be the problem.  Annie Oh is an artist who leaves behind her husband of twenty-seven years to pursue her art in New York. The book opens with Annie having ditched her husband for an art dealer (a woman) she plans to marry. Annie seems as ambivalent about marrying the art dealer as she is about most things in her life, save art. One begins to wonder what Annie really does want. I keep wishing I cared more.

Since I still have seventy percent of the book remaining, I’m hopeful that the story’s main thrust will soon become clear, and that I’ll find the characters more engaging.

Has anyone read this book? If so, feel free to share your thoughts. Also, if you’ve read any other books by Lamb, do you have a favorite?

Speaking of things I’m reading, today I was wading through a National Geographic issue from June of this year which featured a German Shepherd on its cover. The lead story celebrated ‘hero’ dogs – dogs trained by the military to sniff out IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The article detailed all the ways in which these dogs assist human soldiers, often saving their lives by rooting out these dangerous weapons. The soldiers bond closely with these animals. It was a touching story in many ways.

th

But I found it sad, too. I make no bones (sorry – no pun intended!) about being an impassioned dog lover. There was something disturbing to me in the photographic images of wounded dogs, of a dog in a body bag, of dogs carried up steep walls to sniff out weapons. I think it may have something to do with the fact that dogs really have no choice in the matter. Man has waged wars throughout history – and he makes the decision to go to battle.images4VIPAFIP

But animals? Why should animals have to play a role in man’s never-ending wars?

Have you read about the use of dogs in war? Have you ever thought much about it? I never had until I read the article – and saw the photos. Like the use of animals in laboratory experiments, I might understand the benefit for humans, but it still bothers me.

* * * * * *

On a humorous note, thoughts of humans using animals for beneficial purposes brings me to my favorite ‘beast of burden’ – Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer.

th0IWLZCHZYes, it’s that time of the year when that perennial favorite will be shown on TV and kids (young and old) will celebrate the season in the glow of Rudy’s red nose. I always liked old Rudy. I liked that he showed those other uppity reindeer that sometimes being different is okay; in fact, sometimes, it’s better.

That may be the reason I also like the Charlie Brown Christmas special.   Like Rudolph, Charlie dared to be different from his friends and he questioned the real reason for the season – and, with the help of gentle Linus, came to the conclusion it was not just the presents, parties or managing to find the biggest Christmas tree in town that’s important.

Charlie’s pretty saavy for a cartoon character. I’m guessing he wouldn’t have had to retreat to the cookie cupboard in order to comfort himself through the ordeal of wrapping Christmas gifts like someone else we know…

charlie-brown-christmas-tree1
On that note, I shall end by expressing a wish that the rest of the week treats each of you gently. Whatever holiday you celebrate, whatever preparations you may be in the midst of, I wish you joy and humor.

Just remember one thing: if anyone offers you a biscotti, don’t forget to dunk.

__________________
Note: credit for the images of National Geographic Magazine and of the dog in a soldier’s arms belong to National Geographic.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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50 Responses to Wednesday Whine: Don’t Forget to Dunk

  1. missjennym says:

    this is fantastic 🙂

  2. You didn’t dunk?! Masochist.

  3. stacilys says:

    I’m a little late on this one Kate. I’ve been super busy. The kids ended the school year, and a Christmas pageant, and life.
    I just put up the Christmas decorations on Saturday night. I had myself a couple of glasses of red, however it wasn’t a good wine. Unfortunately. I guess you get what you pay for. Pinot Gregio is my mom’s favorite and ‘go-to’ wine. She makes her own. Her husband makes his own Shiraz.
    So I see you’ve stayed true to the ‘whine’ and ‘wine’ focus of this past Wednesday eh. Hahahahaha. Sorry to hear about your jaw though. And those poor dogs…..
    Anyhow, until tomorrow Kate. Have a great rest of the week.
    🙂

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Staci – pretty cool that your parents made wine. Um… what’s their address? I’m going to go visit them – surely they need a wine taster, huh? 🙂 As for the jaw, I am on a strong muscle relaxant… which is knocking me out early at night. I figure I have about 30 minutes before it kicks in and my head conks into the keyboard. 😀

      • stacilys says:

        Hahahaha. I know eh. Every Friday night they watch the Gaithers or some Gaither hosted DVD and have two glasses. My mom drinks only white and my step-dad only red. I go along with my step-dad.
        Ohhhhhh no. I hope your jaw is better now. That doesn’t sound very fun.
        Did you conk out on the keyboard?
        🙂

        • Kate Loveton says:

          Yup – and I’m about to do a repeat performance!!

        • stacilys says:

          Hahahaha. What do you mean? Like last night? A Thursday? Wait! That’s a day late.
          🙂

        • stacilys says:

          Oh no. Oops. You’re talking about the meds here right?
          I though you were talking about the wine. Wouldn’t that knock you flat out eh? The wine and the meds. Eek.
          🙂

        • Kate Loveton says:

          No wine with the meds! 😀 Otherwise, out like a light! The meds make me tired in the evening; hoping to soon get back into the swing of things. I have a Wednesday Whine to get back to and a post about someone from my past I’d like to share… but first, I need to focus. After working all day, I take the meds and then am pretty tired. Perhaps I can catch up with my blogger friends, though, and what they’ve been up to! 🙂

  4. I’m definitely a biter not a dunker, so thanks for the biscotti warning. Bad news for me is that I can’t drink coffee (my system hates it so I drink tea instead). Good news is that I’ve never seen anyone try to dunk a Biscotti in Tropical Green Tea! Hope your jaw is better, and hope the book gets better. I’m not a Wally Lamb reader, so can’t help you with that one. I’m 3/4s through the 3rd in the Ken Follett series on war – WW I, WWII, the Cold War, and like you, I wish they’d leave the dogs out of it!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I finished reading the 3rd of Ken Follett’s 20th c series while on vacation. I thought book 3 went on a little too long; liked the other two better. As for the Lamb book, I don’t much like it. I have about 20 percent remaining and then I’m done. Oh well, guess every one of ’em can’t be a winner. 😀 And tea? You need some scones, girlfriend! Yum!

  5. Oh Kate, I guess my sage advice came a little too late didn’t it?

    You are more than entitled to ‘whine’ considering the pain you’ve been in with your jaw. Still, it seemed on good form yesterday when we Skyped! 🙂

    As always, I love your Wednesday Whine! ❤

  6. willow1945 says:

    Hope your jaw is better soon!! Whining always allowed!

  7. Cheers, I love Charlie Brown, but Snoopy rocks.

  8. markbialczak says:

    Your whine is a fine bouquet, Kate. I don’t dunk my biscotti, either, though I dunk my cookies. Go figure that one. I hope your jaw is back in action. How can you rightfully cheer the Ravens with a sore flapper?

    I will pass on the new Lamb. Not even with mint jelly. Sounds too Oh-so.

    And I agree with your friends who say you are way ahead of the game decorating wise. No need to whine about that, dear Kate! Enjoy your weekend. I hope the jaw is feeling better. You need coffee or tea at the ready.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Since I’m never sure which Ravens team will show up on a given week (the team that wins or the team that loses), I think my jaw is safe. 🙂

      Your remark about the mint jelly made me grin. You’re right: oh-so-so re the Lamb.

      Have plans to see the Exodus movie this weekend. Hear Ridley Scott was involved in the making.

  9. W. K. Tucker says:

    I’m glad you didn’t break a tooth, but it did give you something to whine about. 😀
    I don’t even want to think about Christmas–I’m the proverbial Scrooge. Of course, working in retail for over twenty years can make one mutter, bah humbug, on a regular basis.
    My sister, Linda, (a big fan of yours) has two beautiful German Shepherds. She and her husband have an affinity for the breed, and have adopted several down through the years. Hers are the smartest, most well-behaved dogs I’ve ever been around. I sometimes wonder if dogs (and cats too) know a lot more than we give them credit for.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Nice to hear that Linda is a fan! BIG GRIN! 😀

      I love German Shepherds. So intelligent and the few I’ve known were sweet and well behaved.

      And yes, I think our pets know more than we think they do. One of my favorite books is ‘Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein. Terrific book.

  10. Faith Simone says:

    I hope your jaw feels better soon! And thanks for introducing me to Wally Lamb. I’ve never read anything by him, but he sounds like my kind of guy. I won’t start with “We Are Wate” though.

  11. Sally says:

    You have so much going on! I feel exhausted reading about it all. Think I might have to have a little sit down. And yes, I don’t know how you ate that biscotti without dunking!!!

  12. This is a treat you entertain us with, Kate. I was sick over Thanksgiving. Boo. Most definitely dunk from here on out. 🙂

  13. Once we made a Halloween dish housed in a cooked pumpkin. I was pretty happy to have worked up the enthusiasm to make a holiday inspired meal. Until I took a bite of the seasoned rice filling and something went crunch. What an awful sinking feeling it gave me. One of my back teeth crumbled around an old filling. Somehow it made me feel very old (I was probably 30) and I burst into tears–for hours. Possibly days. Finally I went to the dentist and it was no big deal. 🙂

    As a kid I thought it sad that Rudolph had to grow up, but I loved him and the forgotten toys. They really knew to tug on the heartstrings back then. Of course anyone with a heart has to love Charlie Brown.

    Thanks for the whine.

  14. Carrie Rubin says:

    I loved ‘She’s Come Undone’ and ‘I Know This Much is True.’ Two of my favorite books, too. But I saw the reviews for ‘We Are Water,’ and they were so lackluster, I decided not to read it. After hearing about your difficulty getting into it, it looks like I made the right decision. But oh, how I loved his other two, especially ‘She’s Come Undone.’

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Carrie, thanks for commenting. I probably should have read the reviews for ‘We Are Water’ before digging in, but I didn’t. The two books you mentioned are fabulous, and ‘She’s Come Undone’ is my favorite as well.

  15. noelleg44 says:

    You didn’t DUNK? Kate, shame on you! Love your Wednesday whines – but girlfriend, I haven’t even started decorating, only have a few presents, and forget about the cards. How can you whine?
    I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year. I can’t help myself. Do you know what song was on the other side of the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer put out by Gene Autrey? This is a hard question…

    • Kate Loveton says:

      You know, Noelle, any self-respecting person would have dunked! Must have been the daredevil in me (or the moron) that caused me to bite down.

      I don’t know what is on the other side of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and didn’t want to cheat by googling. Maybe ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’?

      How can I whine since I have most things in hand for Christmas? Well, guess I’m just a natural born whiner! 😀

  16. Glynis Jolly says:

    I love your whining Wednesdays. I have yet to learn how to be comical about my calamities. You air yours out and find the lighter side. It’s an art.

  17. Thank you, Kate. The Pino is lovely. Haven’t had one in ages.
    Ouch. Sorry about the Biscotti incident. Lucky you didn’t crack a tooth.
    I haven’t done a thing about Christmas presents and am stressing out. Am having a luncheon for friends tomorrow, which I know is making me crazy. Why do I get these silly ideas?
    I hadn’t realized Wally Lamb had another book out till I shelved this title at the bookstore yesterday. I liked the other two you mentioned, although It’s been years since I read either. Hope this one picks up soon.
    Now, I must see if I have enough Cloves to poke into these oranges. Here, smell.

  18. Ooh! Your poor jaw! Still – well done on being so organised for Christmas; I haven’t even made the cake yet.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Yeah, jaw still giving me problems. Hey, what sort of Christmas cake do you make? My mom always made a walnut cake (studded with cherries) for one of our Christmas desserts, and raisin cakes for Christmas breakfast. We used to slather the raisin cakes with sweet butter.

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