The Joy of Home Winemaking

Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
January 2000

My Apocalypse, January 1

Foot in the Door, January 10

Frozen Mixed January, January 22

2000: | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec |

| 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | Current Month |

My Apocalypse
Saturday, January 1

Managed to stay up till past midnight last night. Had unplugged the computer earlier. Denny made a double batch of popcorn. Read, saw some of the worldwide fireworks on TV, threw streamers at the cats, who were mildly amused, and went to bed.

Nelly, the ancient, deaf, loud crab got me up too early this morning. The power was on, water came out of the taps, couldn't see any mushroom clouds, heard no signs of rioting. All seemed well.

It was then the unthinkable happened. There it was, 7:30 AM and....NO NEWSPAPER!!!!!

It was horrible. We had no back-up stock—the one thing we forgot. Heck, we even had back-up cat treats. I suffered a lot. Read a book for a while, sullenly drank decaf, then heard a noise. Went to the door and outside was the paper. Thank goodness; civilization was saved.

Denny slept through the whole thing, the insensitive clod.

Yours in survival, and Happy New Year,


Foot in the Door
Monday, January 10

I have a piece of art hanging in a major museum. This came about when some friends told me about an exhibit to be held at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Anyone could submit a piece of art, as long as it was no bigger than a cubic foot.

The Tute, as someone I know calls it, does this about every ten years or so, to encourage artists and would-be artists and give them a chance to show what they can do. Nothing is judged except for size; there are no prizes, and nothing is for sale.

So I told a few friends and we all vowed to enter. Most of us were successful in having our entries accepted. The Curator consisted of a nice wooden box with the word "Curator" across the front.

A cheerful man stood by the box and put each piece of artwork in. If it didn't fit he offered the use of a mallet or saw so the artist could modify the piece. If the work did fit in the box, he congratulated the artist and said the curator had accepted the piece. Then each piece got a number, the artist got a receipt and it was as easy as that.

Last Saturday was the gala opening. My friends gathered at our place for a pre-gala potluck, with the emphasis on luck. The menu was impressive once it was assembled. I made bean and cheese tamales, Erik and Paula brought Erik's infamous Kung Pau Not-Dog and Chardonnay, Rebecca brought lots of sushi, Laurie brought a lovely salad, and Mary and John brought Jamaican beer and an intense artichoke, tomato and red pepper salad. Denny & I contributed the cheap champagne we had forgotten to drink at new Year's.

Oddly enough, the dinner was a success. Then we carpooled to the Tute.

With 1749 entries, I thought it might be a bit crowded, but none of us were prepared for the terrific horde of artists and their friends that jammed the place. The line to view the exhibit took half an hour just to reach the door, and once in, people moved like salmon through treacle. There was so much to see!

The pieces were hung in the order received, with the three dimensional works down the center of the gallery displayed in tiers. The flat pieces were hung six high on the walls. Some intrepid soul had made a catalog giving the column, row and number of each piece, so one could find one's own work of genius or that of a friend.

The only problem was the three thousand or so bodies all trying to do the same thing.

I had been in there 20 minutes when I realized if I went much further I wouldn't be able to get back to the entrance/exit without causing quite a flap, and my back, already feeling somewhat tricky earlier that day, was preparing to go out to lunch, in spite of just having had dinner. The combination of muscle spasms and claustrophobia would not be a pretty sight.

I excused my way out, trailed by Denny and we found a place outside to sit. There was no way to get back in to tell the others about my problem, but luckily, 30 minutes later, I spotted Laurie and her newly purple hair down in the lobby and we waved frantically to each other.

Denny and I had managed on one short side of the gallery, but Laurie and Rebecca, younger and more resolute, and the others had gotten as far as the end of one long side, then realized life was too short as it was, and the show would be up till April, and they wanted out of there.

Whimpering, we compared notes, then went home to finish off the wine and recover.

But you know, it was fun. And the Museum put the whole she-bang up on a web site, so if you want to peruse the various pieces, you can. The url is:

Click on 'Foot In The Door 2000', and search by title, name, or just let the site take you on a random trip. Look for "Arnold" by Erik, "Dream Windows" by Laurie, "Cold Fingers" by Paula, "Counter glow" by Mary, "Garage Door, A lesson in Geometry", by Otto and "A Rich Diet" by me. The site also allows you to send any piece pictured as a postcard.

I can hardly wait to go back and really see the show. There were some dubious pieces, some that seemed rather obscure to me, some crayon drawings by kids (but they were darned fine crayon drawings), fiber art, glass, jellybeans, beadwork, pottery, collage, paper, oils, watercolors, acrylics, and much mixed media. Some was funny, some was serious, and some I just couldn't tell. What little I saw was quite breathtaking. So exciting to see so much at once done by so many people.

So my foot is in the door, even though my back needs to be in a sling. My art is hanging on a wall, no one tried to stone me for it (would have been hard to do in that crowd), and I have tasted Kung Pau Not-Dog. What a great week-end.

Take good care of yourselves, my friends,


Frozen Mixed January
Saturday, January 22

It's been a mixed week. The car has been misbehaving—refusing to start when it thinks the weather is cold (not even below zero!!) in spite of a new battery, etc. We think we might have a clue thanks to the last AAA guy who got it started—possible moisture in the fuel line or weak fuel pump. We'll see when it warms up enough to get it to the mechanic next week.

The veterinarian had a great week. We took the cats in for their annual check-ups. The vet spoke blithely of his retirement. At this rate we won't have one.

Allowing for a few minor problems they are both OK. I must say that squirting orange flavored medicine down a cranky 16 year old cat with claws is not a lot of fun, but she's being more tolerant of it than in the past.

I have a few minor wounds, and she's a bit sticky here and there from the sugar in the liquid. Why orange, and why sugar? Why not parakeet flavor laced with lard? She'd probably lap that out of her bowl and beg for more. Only 10 more days of that to go.

Finished up a project and rewarded myself by installing a computer game on my PC. Frogger. It was the only arcade game I ever liked. Denny gave it to me for Xmas.

Managed to install it, but it took me nearly an hour to figure out how to play it, since I ended up in the higher levels by accident, and kept waiting for it to tell me to start playing. The little brochure with the CD is not much help.

Hey, I've never played computer games before—give me some slack. I found retro level 1 and so far the score is Trucks 8, Frogs 3, hand slightly sore. It gave me points now and then for grace and beauty or something but I can't figure out where they go, or even what most of the rules are. I'm sure I'll pick them up as time goes on. As I understand it, it's supposed to be fun. Poor frogs.

On Friday I did my stint on the reference desk at work. It's rather like being on stage and having only the most vague idea of what play you're in.

Things were a bit slow; classes haven't started yet. The phone rang and I answered it with the usual spiel: "Magrath Library reference, this is Terry."

An incredibly chirpy voice informed me that if I listened to station Blah Blah Blah at 90 Something Something on the dial, I could win great prizes and etc.! I'm a little unclear about the exact words.

"This is the reference desk at the University of Minnesota Library," I replied slowly and carefully. "We don't have a radio."


"Oh! Well, have a good day anyhow!" and she rang off.

Never did learn what the prizes were.

Take good care of yourselves, my friends,


Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
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| 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | Current Month |

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Copyright 2000 by Terry A. Garey.