Mala Enjoys Koonilingus at Ruby Tuesday

Laura and I and a writer friend, Mary Ann Hillier, discovered that none of us had ever been invited to join a book club, so we decided to start the We Didn’t Want to Join Your Stinky Book Club Anyway book club. We’ll meet every other month and talk about the books we’re reading. We didn’t want the pressure of having to read a particular book. That sounded like too much work. Wine and book talk seemed perfect.

We met at Ruby Tuesday. The last time I had a glass of wine there it was some truly dreadful Zin or Merlot, so I was reluctant to order wine. But last night I noticed that they had Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet on the menu.

Mala and Ruby Menu

I sometimes drink Koonunga Hill at home, but always seemed to have a hard time remembering the name and it quickly evolved into Koonilingus. It was easy to remember and the word just rolls off the tongue. Stop laughing. (Laura snorted her Sam Adams Octoberfest Ale.) My husband knows exactly what to do when I say, “Roger, I’d like some Koonilingus.” He heads for the wine fridge.

I live in a family where things are often named something other than their real names and everybody in the family knows what it means. Maybe this happens in all families. When I was growing up we all knew what Willsy meant. My parents, as young newlyweds, had gone to dinner at the home of another young couple, the Wills. Apparently the wife wasn’t much of a cook and passed the potatoes through the boiling water and they were not completely cooked. Ever after,  anything undercooked at our house was Willsy.

My husband calls the couple who clean for us every two weeks The Wanderers. They sort of wander around the house and clean. I’m okay with it. My husband called the last cleaning person we had The Cleaning Chick. She was a young, well-endowed, energetic gal who cleaned in cut-offs and a tank top, but she went walkabout and we had to change the locks. We’ll keep The Wanderers.

Laura shared that one day, when she was driving home, she saw a rabid racoon. She stopped the car and went to a nearby house where there was a man with a gun. (It’s the Eastern Shore, okay?) He came out and shot the animal. Ever after that she and her husband refer to that part of the road as “dead racoon.”

As in, “Honey, are you on your way home?”

“I’m at dead raccoon. See you in a couple of minutes.”

Laura and Mary Ann dared me to blog about our meeting and enjoying my glass of Koonilingus. The We Didn’t Want to Join Your Stinky Book Club Anyway book club survived its first meeting and so did Ruby’s.

P.S. Here’s what we’ve been reading. We are an eclectic bunch.

Margaret Atwood’s speculative fiction Madadam Triology: Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, Madadam; Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You; Deborah Crombie, To Dwell in Darkness; Jonathan Evison, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving; Donna Leon, Death at La Fenice; Jasper Fforde, The Woman Who Died Alot – A Thursday Next Novel; Peggy Hesketh, Telling the Bees; Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore.

 

 

Networking “Down the Ocean”

We’ll take a brief hiatus from writing mid-week when we go down to Ocean City, Maryland and spend the night with our friend Bonnie Feldstein. Bonnie writes as Anna Gill and Laura and I got to know her through her involvement with the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference where she’s handled manuscript reviews the last couple of years. She lives in Rochester, New York, but spends a couple of months in Ocean City holed up in a condo and dedicating herself to writing. We’re both jealous she’s figured out how to do that.

anna gill

On the agenda — dinner and then lots of girl talk. Bonnie has a wicked sense of humor and is a great story teller. At BTO she had us in stitches with a tale of trying on a full length (bra included) Spanx. This is supposed to give you a lean look from shoulder to knee and take care of any bulgy bits. I could relate! Apparently Bonnie’d been given a size too small to take into the dressing room, but she managed to get it up over knees, hips and bust. Once it was on, however,  she couldn’t breathe and only managed weak “help me, help me’s” from her stall. I had images of The Fly superimposed on Bonnie held captive by Spanx from which she had to be rescued by a saleslady. At that point Laura and I were laughing so hard we were crying.

Networking isn’t just about working. Forging personal bonds over stories and wine is the best networking there is.

Note to self: do not wear mascara when visiting Bonnie!