Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My life is officially OVER

Ok not really...I'm just being dramatic but still!  You may expect this to be the wonderful update of our recent road trip where I fill you in on our trip to America's only tea plantation or getting smashed at the Firefly distillery (ok I didn't get smashed but I did take home a bottle of lemonade vodka) or the buttload of traffic that we sat in thanks to a tractor trailer accident......sorry to disappoint, none of the above will be elaborated on.

Instead, I fill you in on my new allergy.  On Saturday, August 21, Bobby and I headed from Charleston to Asheville to take a tour of the Biltmore Estate and check out Wedge Brewery.  Finding Wedge was worse than searching for a needle in a hay stack and after several turn arounds we found the dirt road leading up to the back of a building where Wedge is located (in their defense, I would get lost trying to find NJBeerCo if I didn't already know where it was).  And of course as we're driving through the mud, it starts raining even harder.
Anyhoo, we made it in to Wedge and had a beer each.  I decided on the Belgian Witbier and made it about two sips before I was in complete pain and could no longer swallow...well friends, it seems I am allergic to something in Belgian beers.  Bobby finished his beer and we left immediately.  Although I felt bad for leaving almost a full beer at the bar, I knew this was a bad reaction.

Turns out, after consulting our family nurse (Mama Olson), I have been making my reactions worse and worse by drinking through them.  About 3 years ago, I started to notice that some beers would have this affect on me.  My throat would swell and hurt and sometimes it was hard to breathe and I would have this strange anxiety kick in.  Well, because I have spent three years ignoring the reactions, I have made them worse and worse.  This last reaction took over an hour to go away so I am taking a hiatus from Belgian style ales until we can determine what exactly I am allergic to in them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Come on sweet catastrophe

So I've been slacking off when it comes to the blog world.  In my defense, Bobby and I went on a roadtrip down to South Carolina (which I will blog about later) from Wednesday to Sunday and I just haven't had the energy to blog about it.  But for this post I must go back, way back, to Friday, August 13th.

This year Bobby and I got each other some pretty fantastic anniversary gifts.  For him, two tickets to NYCBrewfest.....for me, tickets to Something Corporate's 10 year reunion tour.  OMG squeal like a little girl!  To start this off, I should fill you in on my history with Something Corporate.  I was introduced to them back in 2001/2002 with the Ready...Break album followed by Leaving Through the Window.
Anyhoo.....in 2003 I was so super obsessed that I followed them over the course of a week and a half.  I saw them in Boston, DC, Philly, NJ, and NYC.  I have several signed ticket stubs and for a while Andrew (the lead singer) was my voicemail message so you can imagine my delight when Bobby surprised me with these tickets.  Around 2005, SoCo dropped off the planet....actually, Andrew was diagnosed with Leukemia and Will decided to start his own side project.  During Andrew's treatment and recovery he started writing again and formed Jack's Mannequin.  Last fall, SoCo released a YouTube video explaining that they were coming back and playing at the Left Coast Bamboozle....sadface for living on the East Coast....so again, this was pretty monumental to get these tickets.
The show was being held at Roseland Ballroom, a total throwback to the end of high school/start of college.  Bobby and I drove into the city and decided to use up our last $25 gift card to Heartland Brewery (thanks to them messing up at Brewfest and us not being able to redeem our free hamburger).  It was clear that he had never done this before as I suggested getting on line around 5 for the 7:30 doors. As we walked to the venue (around 6pm, mind you) I reminisced about other concerts I'd been to at Roseland, the time I stood on line in the pouring rain to see Brand New there, my first encounter with Romy at the New Found Glory concert, and the friends I made travelling with SoCo (I met a girl who was always first on line because she got there at 11am).

We got to the start of the line and I felt old.  Most of the people standing on line were just starting their rebellious years of sneaking out to shows and riding the bus into the city when you told your parents you were staying with a friend.  I was a bit shocked by the crowd and it wasn't until we were standing just outside the stage door and Andrew walked right in front of us and no one around seemed to realize it was him, that I felt it was time to officially hang up my Cons and star studded belt for life as a grown-up.

Don't get me wrong...the concert was amazing and I totally geeked out but I think those days are over.  I'll just rock out to my iPod when I want to re-live those years again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Favorite Beer Labels

Ok, folks....I need your help.  I'm working on a project that I can't yet disclose and would like to know what your favorite beer labels are.  For inspiration, here's one of mine:
If you don't have a favorite beer label, what's your favorite beer?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

yay new hobbies

So teaching ESY means getting home by 12:30 every day.  ESY is over after this week which means I'll have a couple of weeks before the school year starts up again so plenty of time off.  Don't get me wrong, I love time off but I also know that time off means lazy time means binge eating means mad Melanie so I've decided to keep myself busy with some other stuff.  Bobby and I started doing puzzles at night instead of the usual "what do you want to do tonight?"  Friday night we headed to Toys R Us and bought Blokus Duo (If you've never played, you really need to because it's a good strategy game but not super intense) and a 1,000 piece puzzle.  We spent a good amount of time Friday night working on the puzzle and left it on the coffee table to complete over the weekend.

It was a pretty intense puzzle because there were so many of virtually the same piece going in lots of different places.  You can't tell, but we're missing 3 pieces.  Why, you may ask?

Bailey decided to eat a couple of them :( womp womp.  I've also been spending my time trying to figure out the millions of different DIY projects that I see on the wedding blogs.  I learned how to make fabric garland but decided to turn them into headbands/pins instead.

And then there's my other downfall of being home....online shopping.  In my defense, I bought this dress from JCrew for only $54 down from $110...How could I pass that up?  Plus it's my favorite color.  After seeing it in person, it's making me love this color even more and consider JCrew for our bridesmaids dresses.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturdays are drinking days

Yesterday Bobby and I decided to put our new key to the city to use (for those of you who don't know about the Key to the City project, you should check it out....and read LA's blog about finding love through the project ---> ).  We decided to spend the day in Brooklyn so we checked out two key sites and then headed over to the Brooklyn Brewery and met up with some other beer nerds :P

The first key site is down a little alley next to Cabinet Magazine.  The key unlocks this little box attached to the side of the building.  Having read the comments other key holders have left about this site, I prepared for the worst (it not working).  Inside the box are two simple words "Look Up".  Unfortunately, the bubble blower couldn't seem to catch the wind.  Bobby and I stood there for a good 5 minutes, cheering on the little bubbles to make their way into the air of the alley but none seemed to make it.  We climbed back into the car and headed to the second key site of the day, the Brooklyn Museum.

The Brooklyn Museum has a suggested $10 donation but Bobby lucked out with his student id...hazzah!  We wandered through the Warhol exhibit first before making our way up to the fifth floor where the mystery lock was waiting.  When we got out of the elevator we realized we weren't the only people with a key so we took a loop of the floor and headed into the storage area that smells like the cleanest room I've ever been in.  Once we finished perusing the old exhibits that were now housed in storage, we headed back to the mystery door to unlock our secret.

After checking out some other exhibits in the museum, we headed to Brooklyn Brewery for a tour and to meet up with Stevie and Lee.  The original game plan was for Erin and Bradford to meet up with us as well but our paths kept crossing without bumping into each other.  About 20 minutes after we left the museum, I found out that's where Erin and Bradford were. Womp womp.

We got to the brewery around 1:15 and decided to grab a bite to eat before drinking at a little restaurant around the corner.  The thing that sucks about where Brooklyn Brewery is located is...hipster city and as a result you spend $12 on a grilled cheese sandwich that doesn't come with french fries or chips....womp womp.  We entered the brewery for a tour and this is what we were greeted with:

I was immediately turned off.  How disappointing?!  I had no clue that the brewery would be equivalent to the beer garden.  There were people playing drinking games and stacking up their empty cups like some sort of monument to their frat days.  It was just really disappointing having been to tours with people who weren't there just to get shwasted.  Bobby and I bought our beer tokens (also a new concept...every other brewery we've visited gave free tastings....but then again, we were paying for an entire cup vs. a 3 oz pour) and waited for the next tour to start.  When the tour began we knew we were among a handful of people who actually gave a shit and a majority who wanted to go back to the tasting room to cash in their other 5 chips.

After several drinks at the brewery with Stevie and Lee, we got a quick tour of their neighborhood.  They introduced us to d.b.a. - Brooklyn.  If you're ever in the Williamsburg area you should totally check this place out.  Before we knew it it was 7:30pm and we were starving.  We decided to head back to Stevie and Lee's for some more good beer and yummy topping pizza.  By the time we left Brooklyn it was 11pm, about twelve hours after we first began our adventure.  Needless to say, Bobby and I have spent pretty much the entire day on the couch watching train wreck tv and completing our puzzle.  Keep your eyes peeled for a post about our newest hobby.