Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week 2009

My entry for Take Your Chicken to Work Week 2009 is considerably shorter than my entry last year. It’s been damn cold here these past weeks, including a couple days of snow and freezing rain, so my chicken Bob didn’t get the pleasure of seeing the sites of DC this year.  Plus, the theme this year is to teach your rubber chicken something about your job.  So without further ado, I present Bob at work with me.

First, Bob was delighted that I have moved cubes.  He agreed with me that it’s much easier to pass the day when you can watch the snow falling from your cube, and he didn’t feel the need to wander off around the building without me.

Next, Bob learned that while the adage is: “It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.” in the tax law world it’s: “It takes a lot of coffee to read and understand the tax laws.”  And he also learned that even only a portion of the tax laws and regulations is overwhelming.

Finally Bob learned what most human Americans already know: The weight of the tax code is crushing. And not in the good way of crushing grapes. Especially if you’re a rubber chicken.

If you’d like to enter TYRCTWW 2009, there’s still time! Get your photos to El Jefe at Twisted Oak by February 5, 2009!


My Dad Takes His Rubber Chicken to Work

This Christmas, my dad received a Rubber Chicken for Christmas. I can’t imagine who gave him that! He was really excited to participate in TYRCTWW this year and proved it by taking 72 pictures of his chicken!! He even got his customers in on it, and everyone wanted to be in the pictures.  My Dad is a plumber, and here is what his rubber chicken learned at work:

Answering the phone means you have to head out for the day:

Opposable thumbs would be helpful.

Opposable thumbs would be helpful.

Where you pick out supplies for the job:

Too many choices for a chicken!

Too many choices for a chicken!

And learn that dealing with unhappy sales people is a routine part of the job:

Apparently the salesman doesnt speak chicken.

Apparently the salesman doesn't speak chicken.

Customers appreciate a plumber who wears booties:

A little too big...the chicken has small feet....

A little too big...the chicken has small feet....

Diving headfirst into dirty places is the only way to get the job done:

Youve got to be kidding me.

You've got to be kidding me.

The chicken tries to sneak off for a mid-day tipple at a customer’s house:

The customer wont notice if I just take a little...

The customer won't notice if I just take a little...

The chicken learned that plumbing often requires you to work in tight, uncomfortable positions:

Twisted Chicken

Twisted Chicken

Chickens are good at watching while the plumber does the real work:

The chicken thinks this is for the birds!

The chicken thinks this is for the birds!

The chicken helps by holding the faucet in place:

Look! Im helping!

Look! I'm helping!

After a long day, a visit to the local package store is the way to go:

Not as good as Twisted Oak.

Not as good as Twisted Oak.

Followed by a stop at your favorite bar:

Just pour it into my mouth.

Just pour it into my mouth.

And finishing up with a good scrub:

Rub a dub dub.

Rub a dub dub.

So there you have a day in the life of plumber chicken. The poor chicken is now resting peacefully as he is all worn out. Plumbing is hard work!

WBW #43-Round up posted and a Contest!

Joel, of Wine Life Today has posted the round-up from what may shake out as one of my favorite WBW themes in the past year or so since I’ve been participating in WBW. Now, of course, I loved my own theme of Petite Sirah, but I really enjoyed the challenge of thinking about what a wine means to me and why for this WBW. You can read all the details of the round up here, and be sure to click through and read the personal stories that came along with this month’s WBW.

I also wanted to point your attention to El Bloggo Torcido, where once again the Twisted Folks at Twisted Oak are hosting a contest. You may recall this one from last year, the premise is that the readers get the opportunity to write the back label for one of Twisted Oak’s wine bottles! This year it’s for Ruben’s Blend, the details of which you can find here. The deadline is soon, March 18, so pull out those pens and get cracking. Now, I played in this contest last year, and submitted a lovely ditty about a drunkard Miss Muffet and an abused spider….I’m wracking my brain to come up with something even Twisteder, since I wasn’t quite there last year 😉

Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Finalist!

Dear Readers,

My photo for Twisted Oak’s Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week has been chosen as a finalist!

He’s up against some pretty good competitors to win, so if you would, please cast your vote for Bob the chicken. Voting is at El Bloggo Torcido through March 4, and you can only vote once, so please consider Bob’s photo, #3! Additionally, if you leave your email address with your vote, you will be entered to win a $20 coupon to Twisted Oak Winery.

Thank you for your support, and go Bob!

Contests Abound!

Farley (of Behind the Vines and Wine Outlook) is hosting a contest over on Behind the Vines. She is once again participating in Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) and is highly encouraging everyone else to participate as well.

The premise behind OTBN is to go ahead and pop the cork on one of those bottles you’ve been saving for a special occasion and just haven’t gotten around to opening yet for whatever reason. The evening to open? Saturday, February 23. All Farley wants you to do is head on over to her blog and leave a comment about what bottle you think you will open by February 20. And in return, you are entered into a contest to win two bottles of wine from Rosenblum Cellars! You can read all the details, and tell her about the wine you will drink here.

Next, over on El Bloggo Torcido, El Jefe has announced “Take your Rubber Chicken to Work Week.” He’s asking everyone to pick a day between Feb. 4-10, and take your rubber chicken to work with you and document it with pictures. Then submit the pictures to Twisted Oak and everyone will win something. He will be announcing further details and prizes over the coming week, so keep your eyes open. You can read his initial announcement here. And, if you don’t happen to have an actual Twisted Oak chicken, you now order one for only $6.95 or you can bring whatever rubber chicken you already own (?) or can get your hands on before the deadline.

Tag! I’m It!

I was tagged by Farley of Wine Outlook the other day to participate in my first meme. Farley in turn was tagged by Winehiker, which leads back to this tree showing who tagged whom and where the meme has been. The question at hand is: Why do I blog? From checking around, it appears the popular format is to answer in a list of 5 reasons. Why 5? Color me clueless, but I’ll play along!

Why do I blog?

1.) A long time wino: I spent the first part of my 21st birthday celebration(or maybe the second, give me a break, it was my 21st birthday and the night is a bit foggy) with my best college girlfriends, Lindsay, Mer, Sarah(who shares my exact birthday and thus was my only 21-year-old buddy at the time as we were quite a bit older than our classmates) and Sonja, drinking flights of wine at Zins, a wine bar in our sleeply little college town. It was more an indication of our habits at the time than a harbringer of things to come, but it became the official place for our little group to begin our 21st birthday celebrations and served at the time as a great place to try lots of different wines and my first experiences in an “official” tasting setting. From my college beginnings I’ve only grown to love wine more and the blog is an extension of that love.

2.) A trip to Sonoma: By a set of circumstances mostly beyond my control, Matt and I had to rearrange honeymoon plans that were initially set to take us to Ireland and Scotland. For practical travel reasons we ended up looking to North America for our honeymoon and set our sites on the Northern West Coast: Vancouver, Seattle and Sonoma. I had always wanted to visit wine country and our honeymoon suddenly presented the perfect opportunity. I already loved wine and had by that time instilled a taste for wine in Matt, so off we went. We visited 26 wineries. We talked to many winemakers. We toured barrel rooms and vineyard facilities. I was more and more intrigued by wine, the process of making it and the people behind it. I use the blog to learn more about all those aspects of wine and others.

3.) Abject boredom (we’re being honest here, right?): During long periods of crushing boredom at my new job when they first hired me and then cut my entire department within days of me arriving, yet kept me on and simply shuffled me into a corner for a few months, I had very little (read:absolutely nothing) to do. And I discovered wine blogs, Wine Blog Watch and a wealth of wine information on the internet. As I explored these blogs, I realized that I drank just as much, if not more, wine than some of the authors, and I was drinking a lot of wines that I didn’t see reviewed anywhere. I may not be terribly computer savvy, but I figured I had something to add to the wine conversation, and thus Wannabe Wino was born.

4.) Continuing education: I keep blogging for several reasons, one of which is that I truly believe wine to be a subject I will never stop learning about. The next new wine region is always popping up, there are new values to be found and varietals to explore. The blog helps me keep track of where I’ve been with wine and where I’m going. Even in the short 6ish months that I’ve been keeping Wannabe Wino as a record, I can already see how far I’ve come in developing a palate and in my general knowledge about wine.

5.) Wine bloggers and wine blog readers rock: I still marvel at the fact that anyone reads what I write. Really, I do. And that so many people leave comments on things and indulge my seemingly never-ending stream of questions about how you drink wine, what I should drink with a certain dinner, where I should go in Sonoma, etc. Plus, everyone I’ve interacted with is so willing to share their knowledge or their time (we so wished we could have connected with Russ for a hike!) or even their wine. Just on this recent Sonoma trip, I had dinner with Farley who was so friendly and even brought us wine and Ken and his wife opened their home to Matt and I and had us over for a delightful evening of wine tasting. Not to mention the many recommendations I’ve gotten for wines that turn out to be great, recipes that are fabulous (have you checked David or Leah’s blogs for recipes lately??) fun contests to enter, such as El Jefe’s, vineyards to visit (thanks Tim, John and others!) or even wine shops to visit when I leave my own area (thanks Dr.Debs!). So I keep writing because people read, I’ve met some great folks, hope to meet many more in the future and I simply enjoy the culture that exists among this population.

Okay, that turned out longer than I anticipated. But now I get to tag people to tell us why they blog.

David of Cooking Chat
Sarah of August and Everything After (Best wishes to her too, as my newest engaged friend!)
Rob of 365 Corks
Huevos Con Vino
Joe of Joe’s Wine

Tag! You’re it!

Get Twisted DC!

It’s official: Pimp Daddy of Twisted Oak will be making an appearance in NOVA/DC this spring. El Jefe announced the potential dates of the trip on El Bloggo Torcido yesterday and I got an email confirming it which I need to respond to. He’ll miss the Cherry Blossom Festival, but who has time for that %@#$! when there’s %@#$! wine to drink anyway?

The potential dates ate in late April, around the 25th. The idea is that bloggers will get together and organize (or I’ll do it by myself if I need to!) an event somewhere in the area. Pimp Daddy will bring the wines and Twisted Oak will pick up the corkage fees. Attendees buy their sustinance and such (that is if you need more than wine to survive at dinner). Anyone can attend and events organized by bloggers in Indianapolis and Minneapolis have been really
%@#$!ing great according to the blog reports. (Though really guys, we’re glad you’re finally coming somewhere that doesn’t end in “apolis.”)

But I NEED help! Last I knew, restaurants in VA can’t have BYO or corkage. You gotta buy it there. I found this list of DC restaurants with corkage fees, though I have no idea how recent it is and many of the restaurants (um, hello 1789 and Capital Grille) are WAY beyond my nightly budget. Glancing at some of the websites for the places listed I can’t find any info on corkage or bringing your own wine policies. So first, help me narrow down the list, then let’s make sure we can actually bring wine in and that we can get a reservation. I’ve probably been to around a dozen places on this list (most recently McCormick and Schmick’s and Pizza Paradiso (a place I frequent with a not so great wine list and no where have I ever seen that they allow corkage)) and most were good, but many were special occassion type places (read: the bill was more than my monthly grocery bill). I’d appreciate the assitance of other local bloggers in this endeavor and in getting the word out. (Leah, Dezel, any interest in this kind of an event?) Any other DC area readers interested? Shoot me an email at ctsonadora@gmail.com and we will get this together!

Totally Twisted

Even for Twisted Oak! Over at El Bloggo Torcido El Jefe has announced a great promotion. Write the tasting notes/label for the 2006 %@#$! and win a case of the wine which will have your label (immortalized forever!) on the bottles. And even if you don’t win, you get a 20% off coupon just for entering, which will perhaps finally get me off my ass to order some wine from Twisted Oak which I have been wanting to try for a while now. Here’s the announcement: Write This %@#$!. Here are the details on the contest: The Little %@#$! Technical Details. And finally, some examples of previous Twisted Oak wine labels: Classic Back Labels.

A great idea from a really different winery. I’m sure it will pique interest in the winery and hopefully get some great enteries. The deadline to submit your entry(ies) is March 16, 2007 and El Jefe will announce the winner on his blog on March 19, 2007. So get your creative (or twisted!) minds working and enter. (I hope El Jefe will post some of the enteries when this is over as it would be fun to see what people submitted!)

Now, wordsmith I am not, but I will be putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys as the case may be) and attempting to write something bottle-worthy. Get cracking!

Wine with Dinner Challenge Results.

First, the soup was excellent! I ended up subbing fresh bacon for the bacon bits, adding some chicken stock and putting in more cream so that I had a bigger batch! Much thanks to Roz for the recipe! Secondly, I took Farley from Wine Outlook‘s advice and paired it with a Rose because it was the “fruitiest” wine I had on hand and it seemed the recommendations were leaning toward that (both Cooking Chat and El Jefe from El Bloggo Torcido suggested fruity reds). We have plenty of leftovers though so I will try it with some of the other suggestions, I just need to get to the wine store. My picture doesn’t look as pretty as Roz’s, but you’ll have to excuse me since our light went out in the kitchen and we were working by candlelight.

The bottle I chose was a 2004 Wilson Winery Merlot Blushing Flamingo. We picked this up at Wilson Winery on our trip this summer. The bottom picture was taken overlooking their vineyard. This was a sharp, dry rose, quite different from many of the sweet ones I am used to and much different from the one we consumed a little later last night.

At 14% alcohol, this is no small wine; it also had a real cork closure. It paired really well with the creamy soup and the spicy sausage, thanks Farley! Strawberries on the nose and in the mouth, with melon and oddly enough a hint of lime. An interesting rose, we have a bottle or two more hanging around. I’m sure it makes a great summer wine (though it may as well have been summer here with temps nearly in the 70s!