Monthly Archives: March 2012

kelseydo border crossing

Nick and I took a weekend trip to Portland, Oregon. We were really stoked to take our new car on it’s very first road trip to the US.

I am a complete wreck when it comes to crossing the US border and I have no idea why. I’ve got my passport, a place to stay, a return date and no reason to be worried and yet I am  totally overcome with unsubstantiated fear every time I head south. As soon as we are through the gates and onto I-5 I am cool as a cucumber, but before that it’s all sweaty palms and crazy eyes.

Nick knows about this little…err…problem that I have and he tells me what’s what: my job is to not say anything, look straight ahead and hold onto my hands in my lap. No driver’s seat for me. He is convinced that if I answer any questions it’ll be an instant strip search for the both of us.

This phenomenon also occurs at customs in the airport. Once I was so visibly nervous when I went through customs to the states that the customs officer asked me if I had a fear of flying. I just smiled and said nothing. He assumed this meant yes and gave me a bunch of tips on relaxing for the flight. Bless his heart! I don’t mind flying at all, in fact I think small engine planes are fun (as long as I’m not vomiting from crazy turbulence), I was just scared to death for absolutely no good reason.

My anxiety around US border crossings has gotten to the point where I no longer remember what I am actually afraid of. Now I just have the fear that I will react in a totally bizarre way just because I am so nervous.

These are the kind of scenarios that keep me up at night. Keep in mind that these are not the ‘tricky’ questions customs officers usually ask, these are the easy questions:

It Gets Ugly

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kelseydo wine tasting

I love wine. And I love tasting wine. I wouldn’t say I know much of anything about it but I copy what other people do:

swirl, check, smell, sip.

My go-to comments about the wine are as follows:

1) The Mona Lisa: Don’t say anything. Just make eye contact, smile slightly and walk away.

2) The Strong Red Wine: say “Bold” like it’s a pleasant surprise, then make eye contact, smile slightly and walk away.

3)The Drunk: say “Hmmm, boozy” without making eye contact, then nudge the person next to you with an elbow and walk away.

The point is to make your comments as mysterious as possible so that people can’t discern whether you know what you’re talking about, you’re completely full of it or you’re bat shit crazy.

I volunteered over the weekend at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival doing coat check and emptying spit buckets. Coat check wasn’t too bad but spit buckets duty sucked, and not because of the spit but because it was just so damn boring. It was all worth it though because I got a free ticket to the wine tasting room for Saturday night (costs $95).

My parents made a trip over from the island to join me and Nick bought a ticket last minute so that he wouldn’t be left out. I had already scoped the room when I was doing spit buckets the day before so I knew where everything was. We started in the United States and tried Zinfandel from five different wineries. It was interesting to see how different the wine tasted even though it was the same varietal and from a similar region.

I told myself I was going to spit out most of the wine so that I could still have good tasting skills by the end of the night. This never happened. I would take a little sip and pour out the rest if it was no good but I would drink it all if it was delicious. Also, when I started to feel a little tipsy I thought ‘ooh I should spit this out now’ (because it was 8pm and I still had two hours of non-stop drinking to do) but I couldn’t bring myself to spit in front of strangers (or people I knew). I don’t spit….ever….except maybe if I get shampoo in my mouth while I’m showering (and singing). I wasn’t about to start now.

We moved through the Chilean wines pretty quickly and then Nick dragged me over to the Sake. I love Sake but a lot of the Sake here was not good. After I drank the Sake I started feeling like the lights kept getting brighter and everyone kept getting louder and also people were staring at me now…I am pretty sure this was the exact moment everyone in the room became drunk, including me.

I managed to get some port tasting in before my taste buds were completely asleep, which was pretty decent all around. After this point in the evening you could’ve given me any wine and I would have said it was great.

Nick picked up a few bottles on his way out. Here are a couple of the goods:

The winning Zin, 2009 from Folie a Deux

One of Nick's faves, the 2010 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from Veramonte, Chile

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