Monday, February 27, 2006

Beer is a very funny word

I promised myself that I would never let this turn into one of those irritating diary type blogs that are only interesting to a few people because most of the entries go something like this:

I had the totally best weekend ever! First me and (group of friends listed by first name as if we are supposed to know and or care about these people) went to (cool place where only cool people go, and you’d know that if you were cool). Then we went to (another cool place that…yeah, you’d know if you were cool). And it was SOOOO fun.
*followed by pictures of subject and aforementioned friends, usually looking less than cool and more than drunk*

So I am not doing that, but can I just say that I had the most insane weekend on record? One of those "ohmigod I'm acting like a 14 year old who's parents left town and forgot to hid the keys to the liquor cabinet" kind of weekends. One of those "if I keep this up I'm going to find myself living in a cardboard box in the gutter" kind of weekends.

I think that we are going to have to rethink Knitting at the Bar. Having three midgrade knitters, but first class drinkers meet up at 4:00 on a Friday at a bar selected for it’s incredible range of mirco-brewed beer is a recipe for…uhm, well it’s not good knitting. Somehow in the excitement of finally fixing the hole in the edge of the skull shrug I forgot to eat dinner. I did not forget to stop drinking however…and I ended up with another hole in the other side of the skull shrug when I broke a thread while trying to pick up enough stitches for the “collar.” I shoved it in my backpack in disgust, the better to think about when I sobered up. Incidentally I should re-do the math on that one, since in my increasingly inebriated state I decided that I needed to pick up 354 stitches…and that’s a lot of fucking stitches.

One thing leading as it inevitably does, to another, I didn’t get home until 2 o’clock in the morning. My last conscious memory was of drinking whiskey out of the bottle after we had decided to go and rent the original Pink Panther after having seen the incredibly crappy remake….I’m sure you can see what this is leading up to.

*drumroll please* YES! A really wicked hang over. I try not to get really wicked hang overs, because they are by definition unpleasant. In addition to being unpleasant they are terribly inconvenient when the day ahead of you contains a huge beer festival. A beer festival devoted to Imperial Stouts, Barley Wines, Scotch Ales and my favorite new style of beer, the Double IPA, all very strong and high in alcohol. Let’s all point our fingers at Ragnar and say “bad planning Ragnar, very bad planning.”

But WWBBD? (that’s “What Would Black Beard Do?”, for you non-pirates out there) He would power through I say! and power through I did. The first two hours of this thing were agony, and that thing that they say about the hair of the dog…yeah, well I think in my case it took several whole dogs worth. I think the thing that finally brought me around was Founder’s Devil Dancer, (not a double, but a triple IPA) clocking in at a whopping 13.4% alcohol.

Let me just say, yay for Michigan! Is there any other state where you could get 20 microbreweries to show up in the middle of February, for a beer festival that is being held in a tent, in the snow? For that matter, is there any other state where 1500 people would show up for such a festival, and be positively ecstatic about being crammed into a tent that was so crowded that in order to move anywhere you had to move sideways and literally wedge your way through the crowd? I made many new friends, and was hugged by many people who I don’t know, and was told that I was loved by at least three people.

We did try to keep tasting notes. The first few are fairly legible and almost intelligent. The “Kilt Tilter” was deemed to be overly smokey, and the Livery’s Triple Bock was “too perfumed.” The bourbon barrel aged “Scotty Karate” was said to taste “strongly of bourbon, but smooth” and got a four star rating from Dready who said that she could “drink it all day.” After that our notes got a little more general, “good” “supreme” “great” and a misspelled “excelent.” Then we gave up on taking notes and concentrated on not spilling our beers in the crush.

Most surreal experience of my life: being in a tent full of people who were all getting progressively more drunk at pretty much the same rate. Towards the end of the 5 hour drink-a-thon the entire crowd was swaying in unison. I was probably one of the most sober people there, due mostly to my really wicked hangover, which receded but did not disappear entirely. But even I was demonstrating severe lack of judgement, as evidenced by the fact that I am now the proud owner of a tank top with the words “Beer bitch, I judge a man by the beer he drinks” scrawled across my boobal region…it is a rather tight shirt and is probably the reason that I got so many hugs.

And what happens when everyone you know is drunk as a passel of badgers at 5:00 in the afternoon? Well it’s not pretty. Thankfully Dready’s apartment was ridiculously close by, and we all passed out on whatever horizontal surfaces we could find…mostly the floor. 3 or 4 hours later we were sober enough to wander homeward and tuck ourselves into bed…at 9:30 on a Saturday night.

Sunday was actually *gasp* somewhat productive. I almost quilted an entire quilt, and would probably have it off the frame and bound by now were it not for the completely inexplicable breakage of bobbin thread. I probably have about 15 more minutes of quilting on this thing, but for some reason the bobbin thread keeps breaking every 5 inches. If anyone knows any good sewing machine voodoo, please send it my way, because right now I'm operating on the "just ignore it and it'll go away" principle. It was a good excuse to take a break and ply the linen rope that I’ve been spinning lately…again transformed as if by miracle into something that you might actually want to have around.

I will leave you with a list of my favorite beer names from the festival.

“Big Phat Abbey Ale”
“Final Absolution”
“Blushing Monk”
“Bad Habit”
“Quit Jerkin my Firken”
“Fourth Dementia”

And who could forget:

“Kiss my Scottish Arse”

Tomorrow I will not blog about beer. I swear. I promise, and if you are very very nice I will even post a picture of my nephew wearing a hat that I knit him.

Ragnar...who is not just a dirty drunk.


celticjig said...

Drinking beer with Ragnar not only can cause one to fall out of a hot tub, but can cause one to fall into a bath tub. My memory is slowing returning. Favorite beer names: Euphoriale, leading to Fourth Dementia Olde Ale, leading to Shipwreck Porter.
Favorite beer name not present: Wee Heavy Under the Kilt by Dragonmead
I give up the gold medal for the beer drinking olympics to Ragnar for weekend beer and whisky drinking stamena displayed in a true unselfish manner.

celticjig said...

Knitting at the Bar, weren't we going to rename that "worship service for the church of the flying spaghetti monster" WS for short, or what that just the Mad Hatter on Bourbon barrel talking?

Ragnar said...

WSFCFSM being a fine acronym and all...I think it was the damn bourbon.

We are going to have to learn more about the worship services of the Flying Spaghetti Monster before we can make an informed decison.

What do pirates call it when they get together to do something?

Atla said...

Ha! You drunken wench, you!

That's gonna be a helluva collar if you don't "put down" some of those stitches ;)

celticjig said...

pillaging...........and plundering

Ragnar said...

Okay then write it in to the beer wench charter, and let it be known. Once a month, whether we need it or no, gather we shall at yee old watering hole for our monthly devotional. Henceforth let it be called "Pillaging and Plundering" also known as "Knitting at the Bar."

celticjig said...

Finally, I can sleep at night now. So is that the last Friday of every month, as that is what it appears to be?

celticjig said...

So I was just explaining to my cats (cause talking to myself would seem strange when you can talk to your cats) that I was a bit naughty this weekend (because I fell into an empty bathtub and am having trouble moving my limbs and my head has a lump on it) and then realized that I was not as naughty as I could have been, in fact was pretty responsible (with one exceptional moment) and then came to the further realiztion that responsible naughtiness should really be rewarded, don't you think? So now I feel really as if I should partake in some further mischief somehow, to maintain my silver medal and attempt to get back the gold.
WWBBD? or the Spag Mon for that matter?

Ragnar said...

Okay, first off my jiggy little friend, you need to start your own blog, because this one is mine, you can call it "Tubthumping" or "Views from Tub Level" or "Hey, you get outta my tub"

And second off, if you want to get started on your next caper Dready and I are meeting down at Crunchy's around 7/7:30ish for Burger Bash, and yes I am bringing my knitting.

Dare I ask...are we brewing this weekend?

celticjig said...

I am just pirating your blog for the day, you have to admire that.

Of course we are brewing on Saturday!

Hummm more knitting at Crunchys...

Beverley said...

Well!!! Pirates do have a reputation to live up too!

Glad you sorted out the hole problem. Looking forward to "seeing" this shrug.

Knit on >^..^<

PS if you make it scotch I will "meet" you there. Not much into beer but give me a dram or two. Must be the celtic background talking!!

larakatya said...

*falls down and pees*

Umm. . .damn. Nice shirt R!

PS - don't stop posting like this one on my account. Be the obnoxious 14 year old you are destined to be on the inside. (For the record - I don't know a 14 year old that could have survived the weekend you had and lived to tell the tale)

*so nailed by that tanktop. . . .just damn*