Caught in the rain

When Dan and I moved to the city almost 6 years ago, we fell into an unofficial tradition of taking Sunday walks in the fall and winter. It was a good way to explore our new neighborhood, get some exercise, and have some time together. Over the years, that tradition has morphed from just going on a walk to going on a walk to a deli and getting lunch. We haven’t been home much on the weekends lately, so this past Sunday was really the first such walk we’ve taken this season.

The sun was bright, the sky was clear, and it was almost 70 degrees. Walking to the deli was a no-brainer. As we set out, I commented on how warm it was. It’s about 1.5 miles to the deli, and around the halfway point the wind seriously picked up. It was the kind of wind that flings dust and leaves into your eyes and stings your shins with debris. As I looked up, I saw it: a huge, ominous cloud, rapidly traveling toward us.

At first, it was a refreshing sprinkle. Nothing too intense, just enough to cool us off. But then the rain started coming down harder, the wind became violent, and, within a minute or so, we were soaked to the skin. Blocks from the deli, no shelter to be had.

I couldn’t stop laughing.

It reminded me of the crazy weather we’d get when we lived in New Orleans. My brother and I would take our giant golf umbrellas outside and jump up in the air, hoping the wind would carry us away.

Getting caught in that storm made me feel like a little kid again. My one and only worry was just trying to escape the rain. It was so simple, a problem with minimum consequences that could be easily solved.

We got to the deli in record time, sopping wet and ready for some food… and a beer.

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Yes, this was all for us. Yes, we ate it all.

By the time we ate and finished our beers, we’d gone from soaked to damp. The sky couldn’t have been clearer on the walk home, and we were dry by the halfway point. It was like none of it had ever happened.

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A tree in our neighborhood that blew over during the storm. I told you, it was windy!

This year has been pretty stressful for us, but I’m hoping that 2013 will be kind of like that storm. Intense, but over fairly quickly. It might leave behind a little damage, but nothing that can’t be fixed. And maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll feel like kids again for a minute.

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We did some fun stuff.

We’ve actually been doing some pretty cool stuff lately, which is nice! I feel like we’re always “soooooo busy” all the time, but then people ask me what I’ve been doing and I don’t have a good answer. Which means I’m not spending my time very fruitfully.

I’ve been a big slacker about hitting the gym. I never did make my goal of hitting my one spin class for the week whenever that was, and I only got to the gym once last week. No good! I usually post my workouts on Dailymile, but they’ve been so underwhelming since the marathon that I haven’t bothered lately. They send a summary of your week’s workouts every Monday, and I was met with the dreaded “Your friends miss your training :(” Sad face. Sorry guys, I miss my training too.

Speaking of which, I finally got the custom insoles for my shoes and… THEY DON’T FIT. I went back to get them adjusted and haven’t tried them out yet. They were causing a lot of pressure and soreness on the arch of my right foot, as well as making my heel slip out of my shoe. The left one (for the foot that isn’t messed up, figures) is totally fine.

Now that the boring news is out of the way, let’s move on to the important stuff.

Nail news: I had time for a few manicures over the past couple of days, nothing too time-consuming or elaborate. Not that they ever are, but whatever. If nail art isn’t your thing, skip ahead to the BEER.

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First up is matte and gold. The burgundy is yet another mini from that old OPI set I have that doesn’t have any names on the bottles. I put 2 coats of Essie Matte About You on top, then dotted the gold over that (also from that OPI set). I had a hard time getting a good picture of it, but it looked pretty cool, minus, the parts that are outside of the lines (cleaned those up later). Unfortunately, like most matte manis, this started to chip pretty soon. Probably within 36 hours. Boo.

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Mani #2 was a modern twist on a classic French tip. I started with 2 coats of Maybelline Express Finish in Racy Red and painted the tips with two coats of Ciate’s Ladylike Lux. Topped the whole thing off with a generous helping of Seche Vite topcoat. Yes, it really was that shiny! It held up, chip-free, for several days. This is one of my favorite from my latest manis, and it was so easy.

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Big news! I made my first polish, hooray! I got my polish-making kits in the mail a while ago, but couldn’t really experiment with them until last week. I was aiming for something a little bolder and darker, but this turned out pretty. I need to get some little scoops to make adding mica to the base easier to measure. This is a combination of purple and copper mica, with a little bit of a dark gray mica that had a greenish-purple sheen to it.

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And official mani #3 [the previous one didn’t count, it was more of a swatch to show off my new color :)]. Two coats of Sinful Colors in Shock and Awe with a chevron pattern of Marc Jacobs in Petra on the tips. Love the MJ; it only takes one coat and sparkles like crazy with some Seche on top! This is the mani I’m currently rocking. I’m hoping it’ll last through Thursday.

Friday night, we went out to celebrate my brother’s birthday a few days early. None of the pictures turned out, given that it was really dark everywhere we went. That makes it sound much more scandalous than it was, though there was karaoke involved.

Saturday, Dan and I signed up to go on the SIP Club tour of the Schlafly Taproom.  Unlike at the Bottleworks, where they have tours regularly, tours at the Taproom are typically reserved for special events, auctions, etc. (or at least, that’s what the guide said). We went last year and had a good time, so signing up for 2013 was a no-brainer. We only RSVP’d for two (Dan and I), but the amazing Jeffery, a.ka. the nice dude in charge of the tours, looked the other way when he saw we had a third.

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Third wheelin’. Yep.

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Safety Dan, part deux.

After getting a short lecture on the history of the brewery and its surrounding area, we suited up with some fancy goggles and headed to the dungeon/basement for the good stuff. They had some Pi Common, a California common style of beer that can only be found at Pi restaurants, hanging out in the conditioning tanks. Wouldn’t you know it, it was ready to sample! So sample we did.

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Pours out of the pigtail.

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Dan taking a sample/talking shop with the tour guide. “Ooh, is this beer?” “Yes, this is beer.” “I like beer.” “Beer is good.” Something like that.

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More suckers in line for free booze.

There was some more beer talk, then we made our way to the back of the basement, where they house conditioning tanks that contain some of their big standards. Yum. History/trivia time: the logo on the far left was Schlafly’s original logo, which the marketing people axed once the company started to distribute to grocery stores. The rest of the logos you can see were designed by local tattoo artists and are variations on the fleur-de-lis.

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“Here’s some more beer.”

Next up was the cask room, where they ferment their sour beers. It used to house the boilers back when the building was a printing press. Now it’s the mad brewers’ laboratory.

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Potentially delicious science experiments in the making.

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“Take a picture of me in here.”

After all the boring stuff was over (just kidding…) it was time for SAMPLES. We had about 20 minutes to drink as much of the beer as we wanted. Within reason. Our options included the Hefeweizen, Tasmanian IPA, Old English Ale, the Biere de Garde, and something else I can’t remember. The TIPA and Biere de Garde were my favorites. There was also an assortment of cheese, toast, and cured meats.

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BEERS!

It was a really fun tour. If you’re on the fence about joining the SIP Club, just do it. For $25, you get a rad imperial pint mug, 20 oz. beers for the same price as 16 oz., 10% off store merch, and invitations to cool stuff like this tour. Come on, you know you want to. At the end of the tour, we each got a really nice sampling glass with the original dragon logo on it, a sturdy bottle-opener, and a Schlafly sticker. Not bad!

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The end!