Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where beer comes from

(On Facebook chat, today)

ask me any question
and maybe i'll know the answer
how is beer made
be specific
(I was born to be an evil professor)
so first
you have barley (or sometimes wheat or corn or something like that)
and the barley is dry
so you gotta trick it into thinking it's time to grow
so you put it in warm water (i dont know the specific temperature)
and you basically steep it like tea
and that's called "mashing in"
then you strain the liquid from the solid
and the solid goes to farmers and shit
and the liquid is called wort
so you take the wort and you bring it to a boil
and then that's when you start adding hops & other spices
if you add hops at the beginning, it'll affect the taste
if you add it at the end, it'll affect aroma
and anywhere in the middle affects both
usually beer gets at least 3 additions of hops
then you cool it down and put in the yeast
and there's ale yeast which makes ales and lager yeast which makes lagers
and you let the beer ferment for 2-3 weeks for ales and 4-6 weeks for lagers
and fermenting is when the yeast eats the sugars in the beer (which is from the wort) and digests it into alcohol and CO2
and then you're like
and that's how you make beer
That was a very thorough answer
sadly it is wrong
beer is made by beer faeries
who live in the magical land of alcohol
And that's where beer comes from.
I use this conversation (don't hate on me if it's not completely accurate, I haven't reviewed my notes from my Certified Beer Server course in a couple of days) as a segue (not to be confused with a Segway, which I have never ridden before, sadly) into an idea I've been toying with for awhile now, which is, namely, to put an end to this blog and launch a new one.  This blog has been good to me, but I have not always been good to it, so I think as I enter year two of post-grad life, it might be time to transition to a more food & beverage focused blog (and city and humor-focused, obviously, because I'm hilarious) that I will ideally more consistently update.

The only thing holding me back?  I have no idea what to call this thing.  Oh, and my standard phobia of anything which causes change in any way.  Typical.

But if and when this happens, I will certainly post a note on this blog, so all of you people (aka, my Facebook friends) will know what the dealio is.  I know that's really important to all of you.

Love, the greatest beer expert you know.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games Mania

For some reason, it's been really hard to get out of bed this week.  Actually, I know what the reason is.  It's because I got little to no sleep last week on the cruise.  Oh well.

Anyways, when I was willing myself to get up for the gym this morning, I checked my email, and I saw THIS EMAIL:

HUNGER GAMES HUNGER GAMES HUNGER GAMES!  I would upload a screenshot of the email itself, but Google is being stupid and telling me I have exceeded my limit for photos on Picasa or something.  I do not have the time to deal with this right now, so I didn't.

Anyways, Andrea and I are getting Chipotle (!) and seeing the Hunger Games at 7:30 in Times Square, and we are way too excited for two women our age.  At least this isn't Twilight, or some terrible thing like that.

And then tomorrow, Reece and I are going to the ASPCA and adopting a kitten.  A kitten!  For me to love and cuddle with!  I have no idea what color or kind I will get, but as long as it isn't skittish, I'm happy.  Then Heather and Kristine are coming over to meet said kitten, eat dinner, and probably have a little wine.

Speaking of wine, Allie and I found a cute little Spanish tapas restaurant/wine bar on the Upper East Side called Pil Pil.  I had a really delicious Verdejo (from Rueda), and Allie had a Cabernet Sauvignon from I-don't-know-where.  For dinner, we had a bunch of things - mixed olives (really garlicky, but I don't like olives, so it was perfect for me), grilled portobello mushroom salad, bacon-wrapped stuffed dates, and leek & prawn croquettes.  All really yummy.  Then I tried Pinkberry for the first time, just a little baby cup of salted caramel froyo, but it was delish!

Pil Pil doesn't have a website, but here's the Facebook page:

I hope all of your weekends are the bomb-dot-com.  I mean that without a bit of sarcasm.  NOT A BIT!

May the odds be ever in your favor,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Post-grad Spring Break (it exists if you want it to!)

I'm back!  I made it!  My cruise ship didn't sink!  Oh, lucky me.

I told myself I'd go to bed at a decent hour tonight, and the night goes by fast when you work late, so I'm not going to blog about the trip just yet.  It was a fantastic time, I DIDN'T GET A SUNBURN!, and I didn't go completely broke in the process.  Oh!  And I met so many bros!  Bros from all different culture.  It was an analytical study of bros.  BUT MORE ON THAT LATER.  Becky will kill me if I don't put pictures up soon, since it generally takes me about three months to do so, so I'll share with you this awesome video that I took while I put up Facebook pics.

Basically, my fam and I were all, "this excursion sounds fun, we'll drive around some motor boats and then climb up a waterfall, so scenic."  And then we got in the boats and I swear I almost ran into our cruise ship because that boat was going so damn fast and the guide wouldn't let me slow down.  Just think about it.  Would you trust me piloting your speed boat?  Would you really??  I didn't think so.

Anyways, then we arrive at the Dunn's River Falls, which we realized is basically exactly what it sounds like - a cross between a raging river and a waterfall.  The stones build upon each other, so we were climbing up these humongous rocks as water came pounding down them, with only one another's hands to keep us up.  If this waterfall was in the U.S., you wouldn't be allowed to get anywhere near it.  But, well, since it's a bit hard to describe, here's a video.

CRAP I DON'T KNOW WHERE MY VIDEO WENT!  Sorry, guys.  I guess it's still on my camera.  But here are some pictures.

Yeah, that was a pretty big letdown, wasn't it?  Sorry.  I can't promise I won't do it again.  Love me anyways?

I'll have muchos things to share about St. Patty's Day, fake St. Patty's Day, this one time when I decided it would be a great idea to make a pizza and now I have a lot in my fridge even though I hate cold pizza, and other really interesting things about my life.  REALLY!  You should be quite excited.  But it's supes busy at work these days, what with four Grand Tastings coming up, so I hope to get them posted in a timely fashion.

PS: If I disappear and you're just clamoring for new entries, check out this band:  You can listen to the entire album on their site, and I'm going to see them in June (anyone else going?  The tickets sold out in like 20 minutes, before anyone else I know could buy them.  New friends!).  I can already tell they're going to be my band of the season, if you will.

Enjoy the lovely weather!  Happy Spring!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Notes from Laguardia airport

Today I am leaving for a week-long cruise through the Western Caribbean with my parents and the lovely Becky Dube, and I can't wait to enjoy the warm weather and lack of heavy coats. Although, it is going to be 60 to 70 degrees all week here in NYC, so like, that was timed well.

I'm not even on the plane yet, and I have learned several things in my vacation so far.

1) I'm LITERALLY the biggest procrastinator I know. I didn't start packing until 9pm last night. So, with the start of daylight savings time, plus a 7:20am flight, I got approximately 3 hours of sleep. It really might be a problem.

2) It takes 15 minutes to drive from my apartment to Laguardia.

3) So it really wasn't necessary to allow for 45 minutes plus to get here.

4) Getting through security with a dog is just as difficult as getting through security with a baby. Most importantly, I would just like you to know that there was a DOG in front of me in security. A dog!

5) Apparently airport food kiosks don't think it's necessary to have ample bagels on hand at 6am. This is NEW YORK, people, GIVE ME A BAGEL! And, to the lady in front of me who took the last three bagels? Yeah, we're in a fight.

6) There are so many spring breakers. So. Many. Spring breakers.

7) Especially ones from NYU.

8) Including four NYU theatre girls. But probably not the ones who go to Tisch.

9) The four of you. I would like you know that you are the definition of annoying. It's 6:30 in the morning. You are driving me insane.

10) And you other group of kids, no, I don't want to hear about what you did at Latitude last night.

11) I think I'm becoming old and bitter. If I wasn't on my phone I would post a photo of Jen and my trip to NOLA last year to show the difference.

12) This is probably why I need a vacation. VACATION! Watch out, by the day of my return (St. Patty's, of all days) I may have regressed to college spring break status.

So, I won't be in communicado with the world for the next six days or so. Don't be too sad about it. I promise to pay attention during the life boat drill. And trust me, if the boat starts sinking, I definitely, DEFINITELY won't be a hero. Looking out for number one, you guys!

Just kidding. A little.

Have an EXCELLENT week!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chat of the Day

Like I needed any further evidence.


Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Repel a D-bag (according to people from Brooklyn)

I feel like every week, I start off like "Oh man it's Monday, this is totally the worst, I wish it was the weekend" and then one second later, it's Friday again, and I'm like, "How did it get to be Friday, this is awesomecrazy!"  And then the weekend goes by in an even faster blur, and I'm back at Monday all "Seriously, Monday again?  How is this possible?"  So this continues over and over again until pretty soon I'm like thirty-five, saying, "But you guys, I thought I was just a freshman in college?!?"


This is what's on my schedule for this weekend:

Tonight I'm going to go home, make dinner, watch Hulu, fight with myself about making myself look presentable, fight with myself to make me actually leave the house, dance to "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen for fifteen minutes straight, then meet up with ^^^ this kid (Frank) downtown because I haven't seen him in ages.  He's being all studious and pre-lawyer and stuff.

I'm seeing Heather too, but she's featured on this blog an awful lot, and I couldn't find a picture of the three of us.

And I'm actually technically crashing their dinner date, but you know, it's fine.  It happens.  It's cool.  Don't give me that look!

Then, if I'm feeling brave...

I might partake in Broboken's first annual Lepre-con tomorrow.  Oh, lawsy mercy.

You see, I asked someone "Why does Hoboken have a St. Patty's bar hop when it's not St. Patty's?"

His response?  "Cuz they are awesome."

While that makes a lot of sense, and everything (no, it doesn't), but I Googled it and it turns out that the Lepre-con is happening this weekend because the "parade committee" just did this little thing called, you know, banning the city from having their annual St. Patrick's Day parade.  Now, why on earth would they do that?  Perhaps because of the excessive "lewd behavior, public drinking and other safety issues."

I totally wouldn't expect that at all of Broboken, so I'm sure that the festivities this weekend will be totally calm and uneventful and appropriate.  So yeah.  That might happen.

But one thing I'm definitely doing this weekend is seeing...

The Mimes and Mummers present Next to Normal!  I can't wait to see what these kids (along with Joshua Chase Gold, director of Mimes' Spelling Bee last year) have done with one of my favorite musicals.  And with the abundance of pre-show carb loading at Emilia's, it's sure to be a delicious night.

And it might look something like this:

(Circa 2009)

In case you didn't look closely enough, let me point out something important to you:

The original Mike Burns face, where it all began.

And then I'm headed over to the Greenwich Country Club for the first time with Jack and Jenny, but I'm not going to insert a picture here because I really want to finish writing this blog sometime soon.

Finally, here is one thing I'm not doing this weekend, but I found it pretty amusing and thought you all should know about it:


Cat Face

A party where you draw a cat face on your face. Douchebags don’t like to draw cat faces on their faces so basically there will be no douchebags. The last one of these was amazing, sweaty fun till the lights went on. With DJs Mischief, Dirty Finger, Rpeg, Jess OK. Bad Kitty phone booth.

Public Assembly

70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
9p-4a; $5 with a cat face, $20 without

(as listed on nonsensenyc)

So, there you go, kids.  If you don't want to hang out with douchebags, draw a cat face on your face.  One of life's greatest mysteries: solved.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Email is really important, everybody

It's March.  Happy March!  How in the world did it get to be March?

I hope you all celebrated Leap Day with gusto, as we celebrated by dressing in yellow and blue (30 Rock!) and drinking rum cocktails concocted by Mia at 12th Street, to counteract our standard whiskey-or-gin choices.  The night before, I enjoyed a glass of Viognier at Bar Boulud and indulged in eating pork belly, beef cheek, french fries, and brussels sprouts (I love brussells sprouts, you guys).  Have to end February with a bang, everyone!

So I basically saved this blog for the end of the day and now my brain is too fried to write anything interesting, but I wanted to share with you all an example of important work conversations.  Sorry, Dad, for being the guinea pig on this one:

Emoticon 101, you guys.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Brooklyn Brewery & Mardi Gras

I started making dinner tonight, and then things happened, and now Heather is on her way over to enjoy this lovely dinner with me.  So I have a little time to blog about things that happened a week ago.  Because my blog is TIMELY like that, people.

About two months ago, the ladies at Cornerstone enjoyed a lovely holiday party that included a small batch Brooklyn Brewery tour.  And I was like, man, my friends would really like that!  Too bad they only have them on weekdays, since we all work on weekdays.  And then this thing called President's Day happened, where you celebrate presidents, and you also get a day off from work.  And I was like, guys!  This is the perfect opportunity!

So we went on a Brooklyn Brewery small batch tour.

Welcome to the Brooklyn Brewery!  This is the part where they serve beer.  Not where they brew it.  Mostly because there is a bar here, and not a bunch of brew tanks.

We all listened attentively as our nameless tour guide (nameless either because he didn't introduce himself or I wasn't paying attention) told us about the history of the Brewery, gave us a rundown of the tour, and informed us that we were, in fact, crashing the Brewery, since it was technically closed.

Look!  There he is!  Our nameless, yet informative, tour guide.

Then we began a tasting of four beers.  This is Andrea holding the... wait a minute... I can remember it.  No, I swear I can.  I know what it is.  It's the.  The.  Uh.

The Radius!  Because it was originally only meant to be served within the radius of the Brewery.  See? I remembered.  It tastes like banana, FYI.

Kristine does not, in fact, like beer, so she didn't really feel the way the rest of us felt when it came to drinking the beer.

Here's the rundown of what was on tap that night, with our nameless tour guide and Erin, Tasting Room Manager, getting ready to serve the next beer.

When it came time to serve the Local 1 (a naturally carbonated, super delicious beer) I said, Kristine.  I will make you try this beer.  So she geared up...

...she went for it...

...and the result was... questionable.

Nope, no longer a question.  She just did not like it.

So she gave the rest to us.  Whee!!

Look at these beer connoisseurs with the Mary's Maple Porter.

Time to see how beer is made!  Hello, big tank.

Teach us more about beer, nameless tour guide.

More learning.

After the walking part of the tour, Andrea, Heather, and I each got another beer to try.  I tried the Brown Ale.  It was yum.

Look at those pretty faces.

Look!  I got in front of the camera too!

Anyways, we finished up our beer and headed to get some delicious Polish food at Andrea's favorite restaurant in Greenpoint, Karczma, which was worth it, despite the cold.

Here's some white borscht with a side of mashed potatoes.  I tried it, and it was delish.

I got the biggest pork chop known to man with mashed potatoes and cabbage.  Like, I said, "can I please have the biggest pork chop in the world?" and they were like, "sure!  Here it is."  Because I get things done like that.

Then we went home because it was the end of dinnertime, and pretty soon it was the next day.  Do you know what the next day was?  Mardi Gras!

My photos are incredibly lacking from Mardi Gras, but we went to Ninth Ward, at 2nd Ave between 11th and 12th.  We got fried pickles to share, hurricanes (of course), and I got a debris dip sandwich.  I'm not sure if it was actual debris, but it was spicy and delicious.

Brendanbrendanbrendanbrendan take a picture with me Brendan!

(He did)

And then a week happened.  And now it's now!

Happy Monday,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The odds are not ever in my favor

1) There are 28 days until The Hunger Games movie comes out

2) The Hunger Games has a Twitter (@TheHungerGames)

3) There's a WEBSITE FOR PANEM: (Dot PN??  For Panem??  Hyperventilate!)

4) You can REGISTER as a CITIZEN of PANEM!

So I did:

I'm a mechanic from District 6.

And I would be so dead if I was in the Hunger Games.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Girls' Night(s)

This weekend was a long weekend.  Thanks, presidents!

Even though arguments can be made for the merits of men, sometimes you just need a girls' night.  That's how we felt this weekend.  So, we had two.

We had already planned a girls' night when we found out Allie got a promotion.  Hurray, Allie!  So, we celebrated with the only kind of sparkling stuff you should ever celebrate with.


Just kidding.  That was just for the lols.  I got some Cava from Vinyl Wine, around the corner, which sells both records and wine (a winning combo).

However, you just couldn't tear away the Andre from Andrea (Andre??  Andrea??  GET IT??).

There was enough buffalo chicken pot pie to feed an army (thanks, Rachael Ray!).  And after playing dress-up-Allie-and-Courtney, we headed out... CVS.  24 hour stores are seriously underappreciated in this town.

So while Allie bought some respectable drug-store product...

...Heather and Andrea took pictures.

What you should do at CVS....

...what you shouldn't do at CVS.

Open 24 hours, kids.  Appreciate it.

We headed over to Summit Bar, on 9th and Ave C, which was a nice place with a relaxed vibe, classic cocktails (an Old Fashioned over here, personally!) and a heated backyard patio.  I didn't take any pictures because I felt like it would be too tacky.

BUT at Common Ground the next night, I clearly had no qualms about being tacky.  I think that the prevalence of board games helped that out.

So, it was Apples to Apples and a dirty martini.  Andrea won (by a hair), but my personal favorite combo was: adjective: "overwhelming"; noun: "giving a hug."  It may have been because it was my combo, but let's just look at this objectively, people.

We gathered up the out-of-town girls (and yes, a few guys, so I guess we cheated a bit), pushed together a few tables, and pretended like we don't live in three separate cities.  Mama Jen even put up with my exuberant picture faces.

Uh, you don't live in separate cities, you guys.  Stop hogging all the camera time.

Let's get a GROUP picture, everyone!


"Wait just one moment while I become distracted with your furry cardigan and Heather fixes her hair even though we want this picture to be totally natural and candid, of course."

"Okay now, I'll just put my arm around you, and we'll, like, all get together and smile and have our eyes open..."

"Welp, good try, everyone, but it's a bit blurry and there's mega red eye and there are boys photobombing in the background, which is what happens when boys invade girls' night."

"Look at that!  A beautiful picture of the five of us.  Well, your eyes are closed, Diana, but it was the best we could do, so we'll call it a success."

Then Alex took my camera and all of these pictures happened.

Random people.

Random people with funny faces.

Random people watching sports.

Random people... oh no wait, that's us.

Random creep in the backgrou... nope, again, that's me.

Let's all make our most flattering faces and it'll be great.

This is how we had to take all of our pictures on vacation last year because there were only the two of us.

Alas, we wrenched the camera back from him...

...but they took it back one last time for a final self-portrait.

Stay tuned for photos from our tour of the Brooklyn Brewery Monday!  So much can happen in a long weekend.