Who's asking: The quizmaster at The Liberal Cup, Hallowell, ME
According to the quizmaster -- and several websites I checked this morning, because I didn't believe this -- it takes 600 grapes to make an average bottle of wine. Any winemakers out there who can confirm or deny this? It seemed low to my pub trivia team; our guess was in the thousands (I won't embarrass us by saying how many thousands), because each grape doesn't give off much juice.
Yesterday was the first anniversary of my mother's death, so today is the end of the traditional "year and a day" of deep mourning. I've thought more than once in the past year that it's kind of a shame that we've abandoned the old mourning customs; back in the 19th century, when people wore black for a year and a day, everyone knew that those people would not be their usual bright shiny selves, and might not be working quite as well as everyone else.
Friends who've been through it told me last year, "It [grief] takes longer than you think it will," and that's the truth. Grief is like a lighthouse, it turns and flashes at intervals. Over time, the intervals get longer, but the beam's just as sharp when it hits. I miss Mom, and so do my sisters and brothers. We always will, and that's the way it's supposed to be.
At any rate, I wasn't terribly productive yesterday, and today promises to be not much better. I'm headed to Portland right now to see Richard Ford speak at the Portland Public Library, and plan to be back up to full speed tomorrow. (I'll still wear a lot of black, though. I always did, but not in a Morrissey kind of way.)
First Five Random Songs:
"(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea," Elvis Costello & the Attractions. The Strokes, the Arctic Monkeys, the Shins, none of those guys would exist if Elvis hadn't done it first.
"Maybe It's Imaginary," Kirsty MacColl. "I don't know much/But I'd like to know why." Exactly.
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," The Beatles. My favorite Beatles song. It's one of John's. We've discussed this.
"La La," Cortney Tidwell. This CD was a gift, I'd never have discovered her otherwise. She sounds a little like Kate Bush, a little like Bjork, a little like the girl from Sixpence None the Richer. It's a sound that grows on you.
"Whiskey Bottle," Uncle Tupelo. I once startled a friend by quoting this song -- it's one of my brother Ed's favorite lines: "Whiskey bottle over Jesus/Not forever, just for now."