What is wrong with this picture? Downtown Cleveland feels dead to me now. This picture was taken on a beautiful day weather — see? the patios are all set up — on a SATURDAY. Oh, and one of those persons is a bum. With a REALLY long elevator pitch.
I swear, I knew, like, eighteen-millionty people who had birthdays last weekend.
The most important of whom, being AB, of course. This sentence structure bothers me, but I’m moving on…
For his birthday, he received some gifts (not unlike last year’s hopelessly-devoted blog post, but this will be, you know, without all that schmoopy crap I dish out already for breakfast, lunch and dinner):
A toolbox… so I could stop complaining about his tools, nails and likewise manly accessories being scattered in thirteen different locations or stacked above everything I need on the closet shelf. OH, the plastic bags containing sharp objects. Stab!
A double-gauge detection thing for the CO2 on his keg fridge. You know, to detect those times when gas will run out at unfortunate times, like, say… my birthday. On a Saturday, when there are no refill locations open.
And a replacement pair of muk-luks (slippers) because he already lost the ones I purchased for him last Christmas. And I hate when he touches me with cold feet.
Also, it was his luck that his birthday coincided with a six-course pig fest of massive nom proportions at AMP150 to celebrate two OTHER friends of ours.
Oh, I also gave him his first pedicure (like, one you would receive at one of those “Asian” spas — only, it didn’t end with a blow job). Mostly: a) because he never had one; b) mostly-more: because his toe cuticles made me all twitchy; and c) I’m nice sometimes.
A year-and-some-seven-months later, and I still love (and annoy) that Arrogant Bastard to pieces. But he definitely doesn’t tell me enough poop jokes. Muah.
During our visit home this past weekend, we took part in the closing ceremony of Cleveland Beer Week: BREWzilla. While I would have liked to take part in the smaller, more intimate events scheduled, this party is still a great way to celebrate a birthday with 80+ of your closet brewery friends (ahem, AB’s). Having high expectations from last year’s debut event — which I wrote about several times — it was now my year to nit-pick. You know, now that I have a few beer and whiskey tasting events under my belt.
And my tolerance (not for the drinking, even though that certainly has its challenges) has hit an all-time low. Perspective. I haz it.
First things first, I’m not certain of the reasons for changing venues (there was a wedding in the Hyatt that night though, as warned by the front desk clerk), I’m not that big a fan of events held at The Galleria. Why do we need this ginormous space? While I appreciate having enough room to put my elbows on my hips with utter disdain while complaining about everyone, why does EVERYONE even need to be there? Can CBW somehow cap ticket sales to make it more exclusive and set in smaller venues? I know the drinking events here in Pittsburgh sell out QUICK — two months in advance — but it keeps them worth the cost, I think. Also, The Galleria is DARK, especially in certain corners, which I really only recommend for the band’s staging area. Which was located in the middle of everything. And OMG, skinny escalators when inebriated is a genuine bucket list experience.
And then I said: Self, WHERE IS THE FUCKING COAT CHECK? Oh yes, I am that pissed about it, that I’m swearing on my blog today. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for adults who are paying $50 or $75 per ticket, attending an event in CLEVELAND at the end of October, that there be a designated location for such. Granted, it wasn’t snowing, but I was walking AND it was raining, so I needed to wear a light jacket. I’m no longer 21, running into bars in open-toe heels and sleeveless tops — and I sure as hell wasn’t stuffing my coat behind a garbage can. I couldn’t wear it either because even in my light sweater, it was hot as the sweaty port-o-pots. Uh, yeah, I won’t even TOUCH this part of the night, as I suppose it’s my own hang-up. Whatevs. Regardless, I had to use the restaurant’s coat rack upstairs in the VIP section (thankfully, which my tickets covered the makeshift accommodations), and by my guess-timation was NOT enough space for the coats of 1,200+ people. Was it blind neglect? Was it undue pain and suffering for carrying a clutch in the first place? Was I really expected to just “stash it” or worse, carry it with me all night?
So, when I arrived through registration (again, with serious line mishaps much like last year), this was my inventory: my purse, a drinking glass, tickets (that thankfully were on a lanyard, but I needed my own hands free to tear off), a free t-shirt… and my coat. Also, I would count my iPhone as an extension to all that, so I could log all my tastes into the awesome Beerby app (lifeliberty, FYI). It was a constant juggling act, even without my coat. And there was nowhere to set my things down for a second to even put my ID back into my wallet. Unless you count the food court. Last year, there were scattered tables throughout the Arcade. THIS IS NECESSARY! Sometimes you just gotta put shit down for a second.
Also, for the second year in a row, I missed the food. At Pittsburgh’s Big Pour (which I attended in September), the food is commingled with the beer, not separated into its own section. I think this would be more appropriate, convenient and a better opportunity to incorporate the selections from local restaurants — whether specifically beer paired or not (although I opt for the former). Lilly’s Chocolate did a FANTASTIC job of this! Use this as example. And the VIP buffet line? Completely picked through before 7 o’ clock hit. I went back twice to a nearly empty table, so I’m not certain if there were ever refills of food.
Was there water somewhere? I saw none. NOT A SINGLE BOTTLE OF WATER at a drinking event. I consider this a massive fail. And again, if it was served in the “food section,” this needs to be reconsidered. Most brewery tables didn’t have dump buckets and water pitchers set up either, so I imagine most brewers assumed the party planning commission would have attended to this, instead of bringing their own.
All that complaining aside, BREWzilla is still a fine drinking event if you want to experience several different craft brews. We did try quite a few new-to-us or un-distributed/un-bottled beverages. And I’m really excited about Rooster Fish’s Hop Warrior (even if they need to start distributing to PA). I also picked up a four-pack of vintage Goose Island’s Bourbon County bottles dating back to 2006 in the silent auction (and AB got his stupid New Holland boot). But if I go back to Cleveland next year for Beer Week, I will likely be making reservations for some of the smaller tasting and unique dinner events.
Did you go to BREWzilla? Thoughts, comments, suggestions to make the event an even better success in future years?
Side note: I won tickets from a Cleveland blogger for this event (for which I am incredibly grateful), so I did not pay anything to attend this year. I DID, however, pay for last year. So, I’m just trying to put myself into YOUR wallet-emptying shoes.
Rule #1 of tattoos: Never, EVER piss off the tattoo artist.
Lest you enjoy a colorful penis… and cuss words permanently inked onto your body. FOREVER.
Nostalgia alert: Here are a few of my favorite tattoos dedicated to man parts.
I cannot believe that I haven’t been on my skates in nearly eight weeks. I’m pussing out as though I’m on injured reserved list or some shit (I suppose if I truly needed to find an excuse, I could blame by shoulder, but goddamn-it, there is no excuse for me NOT to be skating twice a week. At least I’m running. That part is helpful). Anyways. De-pressing.
I seriously need to get off my lazy ass and get my wheels to the Romp n’ Roll. As much as I want to skate with some of my old Burning River teammates during our visit to Cleveland this weekend, with our hectic travel schedule, birthday plans and both of our separate work schedules, I don’t think that will happen. Not to mention, bringing another bag? Out of the question. I HATE packing for fall because more than one pair of boots DOES NOT FIT in my suitcase. I mean, unless I take my giant-ass 10-day vacation case, but then AB looks at me all weird. And he’ll tell me to just dress “normal” again. Whatever the shit that means.
But back to skating, my first recruitment skate with Steel City is in November, which I am super-super-super SUPER excited about. That’s how much I miss roller derby. And likely, because its just a meet-and-greet of sorts, there will be no hitting. I’ll get my fill in December when I head to Toronto for another Blood & Thunder Camp. So, November 8 will be my new date to start my training program. I want to be in my best form by try-outs, not all knock-kneed and hesitant. Or worse, scared.
Thanks to the internet, I came across this GREAT article about roller derby today (specifically, Chicago’s Windy City Rollers). Seriously, it’s really, really good. Bravo, Ling Ma, you did us roller derby athletes a great service with such an honest piece.
When it comes to school mascots, who is better than Brutus from THE Ohio State University? Well, nobody… unless you are Scrotie from The Rhode Island School of Design’s hockey team, the NADS.
And by the read of things, the team’s slapstick hijinks is better likened to professional oil wrestling… as sponsored by Trojan. Yes, cock and balls ARE “fun for the whole family.” If by fun, you mean, AWESOME. And only if you are 18 and older.
h/t to my bestest, Car for sending this most awesome of awesomeness to me.