Holy balls, that movie was hilarious. Geoff, Matt, Nicki, Clay and I went to the Palace and saw it last night, and I've gotta say, it was one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. I think I want to go see it again, and I think I might try to convince the folks I'm visiting in Minnesota this weekend to go see it. In the meantime, it's very important that you go and see it.
Happy birthday to me, as I hang over in Minnesota. I had an excellent time, last night, and the night before, with cousin Vince, and with friends Abby and Amanda. Vince announced last night that he had to "get in early," just before we stayed out until 5:30 in the morning. We had ourselves a new DOTW, which will be up as soon as I get home, and I get the initiative to make it, along with the initiative to fold my week-done laundry, clean my putrid bathroom, and send my brother a care package I owe him.
Vince had to work at 11, this morning, so he dropped me off with Amanda, who's nice enough to drive me to the airport, later on. I hope to make it back to Minnesota again soon, because there seems to be a lot more to see.
So anyway, I guess I'm closer to thirty years old than twenty now.
I went to Minneapolis, this past weekend, to celebrate my birthday with some friends and relatives. I turned 26 at midnight on Saturday night, and I was treated by my cousin Vince, and his roommate Mike, to a night on the town. We went to The Independent, a second-floor bar in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood. I walked toward the bar, and was hassled away by Vince and Mike, who told me to sit my newly-26-year-old ass down, and await my sponsored drink.
It came in the form of a Jager and Red Bull shot, and a glass of one of my favorite beers available on tap in Minnesota: Bell's Two Hearted Ale, produced in Kalamazoo, MI, by one of the oldest "great" breweries in America.(yes, 1983 is old for great american beer).
The beer is a delicious-looking deep orange when poured, and it doesn't look at all like its flavor. They don't call it one, but it's been termed an IPA(India Pale Ale), by the beer-drinking community, because of its extremely hoppy characteristics. An IPA gets its name from the beers of roughly the same style that were brewed for the long nautical voyage from Great Britain to India, which in those days took mariners all the way around Africa. On a trip of this length, beer would generally taste pretty lousy by the end of the journey, so brewers in Britain had to come up with a special beer, to keep the crew's spirits up.
The result was a beer that was heavily fortified with alcohol and hops, making it especially bitter, but very long-lived in a wooden cask. Today, the beer style made in homage to those days is the modern-day IPA. Some people love it, and some people hate it. I thought I hated it, until I tried Two Hearted Ale, on the advice of a clerk at Gomer's, late in 2003. Now, it's one of my favorite beer styles, and this is my favorite IPA. That's definitely saying something.
Even though it's a different table, this is still the same glass.
After about four or five of these, and another Jager Red Bull shot, we all got chased out of the closing Independent, and Mike went and grabbed some girl's boob.
Ratings (out of ten):
Flavor: 9 (This is my absolute favorite IPA. The hops are in your face, and the bitterness dominates the flavor.)
Body: 8 (Bites every part of your mouth that detects flavor, and keeps biting well after you've swallowed.)
Aroma: 8 (It smells almost as hoppy as it tastes.)
Smoothness: 4 (Sometimes, smoothness needs to be ignored, in favor of bite, flavor, and finish.)
Price: 10 (It was my birthday, and hence cost me nothing. It doesn't get any better-priced than that.)
The pictures from my trip to Minneapolis this past weekend are up. Enjoy.
I was going to go to Peoria, this weekend, for a pre-wedding barbecue with my friend Josh, but I had the nerve to get sick this week, and decided on Thursday night that I should just stay home. So, last night, I went and picked up a couple of sixpacks, and managed to get one delicious pumpkin-flavored beer down before being too tired to sit anymore. I went to bed at about 11 last night, and was awakened at about three in the morning by a drunken phone call from Geoff in California, very little of which I remember.
This week at work was a little sodden. I got sick on Wednesday, and called in on Thursday. I would have called in on Friday, if we didn't have an important demonstration of our software for the people we support. Luckily, it was rescheduled to eleven in the morning, and I got to go home right afterwards.
When I went to Gomer's last night, I was reminded that what my brother and I refer to as "beer season" is starting to threaten coming. The first sign thereof was the arrival of Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale. In the coming weeks, more and more delicious beers will arrive at Gomer's and elsewhere, the next batch being Octoberfest beers. The season will culminate in the release of the Christmas and Winter Warmer beers, which are my favorite beers of all.
The temperature dropping used to depress me. Not anymore.
My sister celebrates her 19th birthday today. I remember when I turned 19. I went up to Iowa City, and went to the 19 bars with some college friends. My sister is going to some awesome concert out at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL. Have fun!
You may notice that there are some updates to the "Latest Comments" menu of the left. I have unified it to show the latest comments of any kind, from anywhere on the site. So now, if there's a recent comment on Lyons' latest rant, it'll show up next to responses to my entries or DOTW updates. This should make the site appear more as one, I think.
I have three invitations to start gmail accounts available, if anyone wants them.
I went to Des Moines, this past weekend, and had a very nice time, spending Saturday helping to unofficially warm Alex's new house, and interestingly, found myself strangely feeling homesick. As such, I returned to Kansas City as soon as I woke up this morning. I guess it really is home, and I've been away from home too much. I had the urge to get some pictures of downtown, this evening, so here they are, with no further ado.
It's nice to be home.
Last week, I got a call from Bryan, with whom I used to work at Sprint. After exchanging pleasantries, he whipped out the meat and potatoes, inviting me to go and get a beer with him the following week. I happily accepted, and we agreed on Barley's in Overland Park, on Wednesday night.
The night came, and I made my way down to Overland Park in rush hour traffic, and I must say that traffic there is worse than I remember it. After miles of nothing, I arrived at the corner of 119th and Quivira, the alleged location of Overland Park's Barley's. Geoff told me earlier in the day that it was at that corner, on the southeast block. I came south on Quivira, as you can see in the diagram below.
As you can probably also see, from the nature of my route, denoted by the blue line, both Geoff's advice and my intuition failed me. Barley's was not on the southeast corner, nor was it on the southwest corner, where I spotted a building that looks like what I'd think a suburban brewhaus would look like. Anyway, I eventually found it, and went inside.
I met up with Alex, Louis, and Bryan inside, and bullshat with them for about an hour before getting a table for dinner. Alex took his leave, as he had business to attend to, and left us to attend to ours. We ordered dinner, and decided that the Draught of the Week needed to be something completely foreign to me, so we went through the list of 99 taps, and came to one I didn't know. Rockies Brewing Company's take on the American Style of IPA, Hazed and Infused.
I think this is one of the most aptly-named beers in existence. It hits your tongue with a burning buzzing fizz, thoughts of which its name fully evokes. While it definitely fits the description of an IPA(being hoppy, robust, slightly bitter, high in alcohol), they call it an APA(American Pale Ale) because of the purported divergence from the original IPA recipe. This beer was absolutely delicious, and even has hints of a citrus flavor. It's just an amazing beer, and I highly recommend trying it.
Bryan and Louis agreed that it was tasty, and yes, that was the real color outside.
Ratings (out of ten):
Flavor: 8 (A truly unique flavor, it seems to have slight citrus overtones, which I think is what adds to its bite.)
Body: 7 (With a very full body, this was an IPA that was ready to lay siege to your senses, and plow its way in.)
Aroma: 7 (The odor immediately attacked my nostrils, forcing me to drink.)
Smoothness: 8 (Even though the hoppiness gave it a slight burning feeling, it still went down very smoothly.)
Price: 6 (It was $3.50 a draw, which is pretty average around KC.)
You may notice that I added a latest post thingie to the page, and if you're using anything other than Internet Explorer, it should look great. For the unfortunately unindustrious people who are still using 1997's web browser, I have only this to say: Upgrade, because I'm not waiting for you anymore.
I went to watch the part of the Chiefs game when they were winning, last night. It was my first NFL game, so it was very enjoyable, especially since I didn't have to spend a dime on it. I hope to make it to one again soon.
I made a new layout for the page that I think is both easier to use, and prettier, not to mention that it works about the same in any browser. If you have any suggestions or complaints, feel free, but first realize that I will make no changes for a while, except minor fixes and such. At the moment, this setup only works for the front page of the site, and adapting it to the rest of the site will take a long time, if it ever gets done. Until then, enjoy.