Saturday, 28 April 2012

On sleep deprivation and wine tastings


This is what happens when I attempt to function on very little sleep.

I work at the Victoria Conservatory of Music as a receptionist.  My job is the bomb diggity.  Just under 50% of our revenue comes from donations, so we have oodles of fundraisers every year to stay in business.  This year, one of the events was Uncork Your Palate - a wine tasting at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.  The past four months have been completely taken over by planning and making sure that we were going to have a ton of people there and get lots and lots of money.  I didn't have much to do with it besides the odd task here and there but I was corralled into working the event itself, which I was excited about because I like to be involved in big events.  So exciting!

It was my birthday on Wednesday, too, so with all of the excitement and stress I really didn't get much sleep.  I even worked about eight combined hours on my days off because my coworker/friend Erin was freaking and I wanted to help her.  On Wednesday night, the night before the event, I think I slept about five hours.  

April 26th was a 14 hour day on five hours of sleep when I'd also been getting an average of six hours a night for the past week.  NO FREAKIN' BUENO.

Regardless, it was a pretty fun adventure.  My feet are swollen, I hurt all over, and I'm absolutely exhausted, but it was a riot.  I got to taste some pretty wicked wines and we raised a ton of money for the Conservatory!

 I was pretty much a "do whatever is needed" girl.  This involved setting up a table with 150 wine glasses in a perfect grid.  Thanks, OCD!

Blaine said that if I got him a chocolate chip cookie he'd do a happy dance.  I needed photographic evidence of the follow through.

Bid sheets.  I made 35 of these stupid things and they were the bane of my existence for thirty six hours.  BUT DON'T THEY LOOK GRAND?

VCM signage, just before we opened the doors for the trade event.

From 1:30pm-3:30pm, people in the wine industry were invited to come to a special tasting just for them.  We had 15 wineries, all from the Naramata Bench.  It was pretty cool to observe.  Only thing was, fancy wine tasty people don't always swallow their wine.  They swish it around in their mouths so it covers the palate and then spit it out into these spit buckets that were set up at each winery table.  We were busing during the trade tasting which mean emptying the buckets so they didn't get too full.  Yurg.

Philomena, one of my coworkers and the main organizer from the VCM, invited us to taste as much as we could during the trade event because the public tasting in the evening was bound to be busy.  I got to try four different wines before I had to get back to work.  My favourite was a sparkling wine from Elephant Island Winery.  So delicious and fruity and the most bubbly sparkling wine I have ever had!  Apparently it's sold locally in Victoria :)

Erin and Philomena at the trade tasting.  Pretty ladies!

Brian, Blaine, Erin, Bethany, and Philomena.  I have the best coworkers in the world!

After the trades event we were all absolutely exhausted but only halfway through our day.  We bused the rest of the tables and got rid of the leftover food and then Philomena sent us off to relax for a bit.  It was a gorgeous day so we headed to the patio at Browns.  Delicious sunshine!

 "I stole a bottle of wine!  It's THIS big!"

After about an hour we shuffled back to the venue and set up the dessert trades.  Then it was time to don our best evening finery and get ready for the onslaught!  The event went so well.  Lots of happy people and the live and silent auctions raised a good amount of money for the Conservatory.  When both auctions were over we raced to get everything organized so people could come upstairs and start paying for their prizes.  I was in charge of writing the winners names on this huge board with the corresponding lot numbers.  When that was done I was a runner, fetching prizes and bringing them to the bankers.  By that time, my feet were so sore that I wanted to cry but the night was almost over.  Thank god.

Banking!  I am in LOVE with Bethany's dress.

My pretty lady date and me.

In the mean time, the wineries started to pack up and get the hell out of there.  Erin and I were very disappointed that we hadn't tasted more wine, so we went around to some of the tables and just yoinked half finished bottles.  HATERS GONNA HATE.  I think I guzzled a quarter bottle of that Elephant Island goodness before moving onto some white wine.

We thought that all of the winners would come up pretty quick and pay for their prizes, but in the end we had about five to ten left.  We waited around until 10pm and then had to leave, as per licensing rules.  I was SO HAPPY to be going home.  Erin offered to drive me because she is amazing, but first we had to take the long walk up to the Conservatory where her car was parked.  We limped.  And ranted.  I half cried.  It wasn't cute.

Hoodies and dress.  Booyeah.

Erin stopped at the liquor store for herself and bought me a bottle of wine too because she's an angel sent from heaven.  Then the first photo in this post happened.

I have no regrets.

I'm still tired.

Events are tough, yo.

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