Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Birthday Party

This past Saturday my girlfriend and I went to a friend's 23rd birthday party (one week before mine!). We brought a six pack of assorted Shiner beers, one Coors Light, and one Honey Brown.

I started out the evening with Shiner's Hefeweizen (Hefeweizen, 5.6% ABV). I found this to be a good but unremarkable hefeweizen. I had been wary of a hefeweizen from Shiner, though, and it wasn't bad at all, so props for that. There was less of the banana/clove thing going on with this one - I guess they chose to stick mostly with the wheaty and citrusy aspects.

From there I went on to the Shiner Light (Light Lager, 4% ABV), each bottle of which they cutely have a citizen of Shiner, TX sign in approval of its taste despite its being a light beer. Well, I 'd say they were right, it's not bad...for a light beer. It was smooth and seemed to stick to a purer beer recipe (I'd guess they're not big on adjuncts to sweeten their light beers).

After that, I had the Shiner Black Lager (Schwarzbier, 4.9% ABV). I really appreciated this guy. I like my beers a little toasty, chocolatey and coffeey (:D) so this was right up my alley. Plus, I had just found a really cute glass our of which to sip it.

I would have had the Shiner Blonde, but my girlfriend has swiped that one in the meantime. I did have a stroke of luck, however, 'cause this one guy at the party had brought a 12 pack of assorted Dundee beers (the brand of that Honey Lager I'd brought), so I casually asked him if he liked the Honey Brown. As it turns out, it's one of his favorite beers, which made me judge him of course but which also made me happy as he traded me for one of his other favorite beers (then again, maybe this is just one of those guys who calls everything a favorite...) called a Weihenstephaner (Munich Helles Lager, 5.1% ABV). Unfortunately, I was getting on towards plain drunk at this point, so I don't remember much about this except that I distinctly recall thinking, "This beer doesn't taste exceptional or anything, maybe it's just my limited taste, or my drunkeness, but why the hell would this be someone's favorite beer?" I think that it's probably a really good quality beer and whatnot, but it's just that the original version of something will probably never be my favorite.

At this point I was drunk and indiscriminately grabbed other people's beers. I have a cap from one that says EFES. I googled it and didn't really figure out what the hell it was in the three minutes I allotted for that research. There's also a cap I kept that has a really cute couple of blue and yellow Egyptian looking pictograms. Maybe someone can tell me what these last 2 were:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just a Night at a Bar 8/8/09

I just wanted some beer, so I called up a few friends, and we decided to go to Fox and Hound. Of course, I had a beer beforehand - I just drank the last of the Pyramid Audacious Apricot Ales (blech). Unfortunately, a bunch of men were beating each other up that night (UFC?), which meant there was a $5 cover to get into Fox and Hound, which I find ridiculous. Fortunately, no one else wanted to waste the cost of a beer either, so we were all in agreement to go to some other bar down the street.

We wound up ate a cute mid-sized bar called Sterling's that was featuring karaoke that night. The place wasn't packed, but it also wasn't desolate, which I find to be the Goldilocks amount. My gang pretty much just played darts all night, my only interactions with strangers (other than the bartender) happening in the restroom when some friendly drunk girls warned me, an obvious new comer to their close knit establishment?, of the flaws of the paper towel dispenser and air dryer.

Anyway, I had some new beers (new to me, that is, of course). First up was a Drop Top Amber Ale (American Amber/Red Ale, 5% ABV). I really enjoyed this beer. It had a flavor neither I nor any of my compadres could quite place (not to my satisfaction anyway. One of my friends thought the flavor was apple juice, but that wasn't what was triggered in my synapses). I'll have to have another one after I read someone's review as it might have been one of the flavors he mentioned: caramel oranges, artificial butter that you would get on popcorn at the movies, or pears.

The next beer of the night was a Widmer Hefeweizen (American Pale Wheat Ale, 4.7% ABV). Apparently I was to have a Widmer filled night as I have discovered while researching (if a search on Beer Advocate can be properly termed such) for this blog that Drop Top is a Widmer beer. I didn't think it particularly remarkable. There was the usual citrus, floral, and banana assortment of falvors going on. None of the hefeweizens I've had since has lived up to the Paulaner Hefe Weizen I enjoyed so.

After that, the apple juice friend (his name is Eric, I'm not really trying to be secretive) bought us a round, getting another Drop Top for me.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This Post is from the Weekend of August 1st

This was moving weekend for me, so I didn't exactly "go out", but I promise there will be beer in this post. We got the key to the new apartment Friday evening and spent the next day and a half breaking our backs moving furniture, packing, loading, cleaning, and stopping to randomly use things up we'd never gotten around to using in the past 1-3 years (for instance, I rubbed on a sunless tanning sample I'd gotten for free over the internet several months ago). On Friday night, our friend Katie brought her truck and took a load of our stuff to the new apartment. Right afterward, these two Mormons packed a load into their SUV and brought it to our new apartment.

Now, the two Mormons are a married couple, though one of them is clearly a lesbian (as in, dyke hair cut, has a soundproofed room in her house full of percussion equipment, is on a lot of medication for depression - due to being married to a man and a member of a religion that teaches homosexuality is wrong? who knows - etc.). So on Saturday night, after Kristen and I worked on the arduous task of moving for about 12 hours, we needed another run with a truck to finish the process. We ran out of all other options besides taking the Mormons up on the very gracious offer they'd made the night before to borrow their friend's truck and help us again.

We were loading up as much as possible so that Kristen and I would, at most, only have to do one more run on Sunday with just her car. I was carrying out one of those three-high stacks of Wal-Mart Bins (well, that's what I call them. You know those bins college students tend to buy.) I had just spent a couple of hours taking everything out of these bins, thoroughly cleaning them, sorting what had been in there, throwing away or recycling what we didn't need, and organizing them. As we packed up the apartment, all the important things that didn't really have any other place to go (like a piggy bank full of coins, a plastic bag full of coins, book covers, a few books, several wires, etc.). I didn't really pay attention to what I was putting where since I knew I'd be unpacking all of these things pretty much right away. I ran out of duct tape right before taking this out to the car (with the other bin stacks - full of socks and underwear - we'd duct taped them shut, just in case). So I was carrying the stack out to Kristen's car, where they'd be safe, but, as with everything else I'd tried to put in Kristen's car, the Mormon man insisted I should put the stack in the truck bed. I explained the nature of the bins and their contents, but he was sure it would be fine. I said, "Okay, well let me at least go get a few towels to put around them." I did that, and then he stacked some cheap patio furniture on top of them as well.

On the way, in Kristen's car, Kristen almost T-boned a cop who forgot to change our light to red. Neither of us heard or saw him until it was almost too late. That was scary. Then I started talking about how the Mormons could tell a story in testimony meeting, which I realized would be the very next day (first Sunday of the month), that they had helped these two lesbians in need (one of whom is an ex-Mormon) move that weekend. They'd probably go on to say that, while neither of us is likely to call the missionaries to set a baptism date this weekend, they perhaps planted a seed that might one day grow.

When we got to the new apartment and started unloading everything, we realized that the top bin and some of the contents of the middle bin, were clean gone. The Mormons promised they wouldn't stop until they found our stuff, or what was left of it anyway. I said I'd prefer to go with them. Kristen was too depressed to go, and pulled me aside to let me know that there were a few sensitive items in there that made this tragedy particularly shitty.

The Mormons and I drove the truck back to their friend's house to drop off the truck and get their own vehicles. At this point I realized their testimony meeting might go a little differently, and I couldn't decide whether I wanted to ask them to say a prayer with me. I quit praying years ago, for mental health reasons as well as non-belief. I thought A-it's always possible God is real, is testing me, and wants me to pray, B-believing that prayer will help can help in a number of ways (especially if it turns out that existence is all in my "mind"), and C-they'd have a way better story in testimony meeting if I asked them to pray. So, on sort of a whim, I went ahead and asked, and we said a prayer at their house.

Mr. Mormon and I drove his car up and down the 30 mile drive, retracing his and his gay wife's steps, while the lesbian did the same in her motorcycle (oh yeah, she also drives a motorcycle). Kristen texted me to let me know they must have lost the lawn furniture as well as it wasn't at the apartment with the other stuff we'd unloaded and that she was just going to start drinking beer (see, beer, a Bud Lite I think). Well the Mormons had apparently decided it would be best to take the tollway instead of sticking to the slower roads. This turned out to be the problem as, after two hours of Mr. Mormon and I driving together with our eyes peeled and singing songs from Camelot and My Fair Lady together, the lesbian finally spotted some of my stuff right at the entrance they'd taken onto the tollway. Apparently accelerating to 70 mph causes sufficient lift to pluck patio furniture and a bin with probably 40 lbs of contents (remember all those coins) up and out of a truck bed despite being tied down.

We spent the next hour or two walking along part of the George Bush Tollway, picking up bits and pieces of books, movies, wires, a pill bottle, etc. A few things were salvaged, one of which, thankfully, was a library book. All told, I think this probably has cost Kristen and me around 150 bucks. It turns out that we lost all of our phone chargers ($50), the iPod shuffle connector ($30 at Wal-MArt, waiting for the $1.50 one from Ebay to arrive...), the wire that connects the printer to the CPU ($16.82 after tax), all that change, the sensiitve materials ($45), two remotes we really needed to replace anyway, all kinds of crap that doesn't matter too much, a dvd, a piggy bank with a good deal of sentimental value as well as change, and a lot of change on top of that, and hopefully nothing else we still haven't realized is missing. I've found a broken wire from Logitech and some broken piece of plastic with a Logitech logo, but I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell it might be. "God" bless those Mormons. They were so kind and generous to help us with that. Sadly though, we would have saved money had we hired movers to do the whole damn thing for us in one trip. Then again, we wouldn't have had this interesting life experience.

Speaking of which, when we got back to the apartment finally, delirious from the late night, never-wracking adventure, we compared the various things each of us had salvaged. Lesbian said, "Well, I think I had the best find." At this point, I figured she'd found the bag of change with the sensitive materials of which, strangely, no one seemed to have seen a trace. She continued, "I saw a brown bag in the middle of the road, and it looked heavy, so I just knew I had found that bag of change you guys mentioned (we didn't tell her about the other contents). I figured I had the find of the night. It was two lanes down, so I waited for traffic to clear, ran out and picked it up, and it was a bag of poop. Just crap. Diarrhea maybe. It...got on my glove."

I laughed my ass off, so the night wasn't a total loss.