Saturday, July 25, 2015

Friday Night Love Dreams

I just had an extremely bizarre dream.

I was in this tiny little town at this Italian restaurant that was next to a saloon/dance hall, and I ordered a bottle of rose.

Now, mind you, I did not know the price, so when it comes down to it at the end of the night, this wine bottle is $561. Naturally, I freak out, and I am like, there is no way in hell I'm paying that. I mean, for god's sake, the saloon hall sells it for $127 after I look at their menu (because apparently both places are by the same owner).

Seeing my freak out/impending knowledge that I'm going to be cleaning a LOT of dishes to pay for one bottle of wine, this woman sits me down and tells me the story of this wine: two star-crossed lovers build a vineyard together by the lake after they meet and realize they are each other's one true loves. Their wines they create are the culmination of their love, but alas, she falls ill and passes. Upon her passing, a new grape varietal grows in her favorite spot in the vineyard. He, in his grief, cultures and breeds the varietal and produces this rose out of it, before losing the entire shipment in this impossibly deep lake due to a storm when he was crossing it, and he passes in the storm himself.

The woman then brings me to the lake side where this purported legendary shipment of rose is (I was thinking it was just a nice, sweet story), and tells me that if I'd like to get a bottle from the depths, I just have to sing to the lake's eels about love.

Despite my hesitance to sing to eels (shocker), I comply and she coaches me along the way, singing love songs to the eels. Shortly after we began to sing, the lake surface showed little spouts of water where eels were diving down, and I begin to believe the story. Soon enough, a wine bottle can be seen bobbing our direction and the bottle comes ashore. It is, of course, a bottle of this legendary rose. I pick it up with the intention to give it to the restaurant as a replacement bottle, but before I turn to leave, she asks me to stay as "the eels have something else for you."

Of course, at this point, I'm pretty positive this is going to end in some weird murder plot where I get drowned by a swarm of eels, but thankfully it does not. They bring another bottle of this wine to the lake shore and she picks it up and hands it to me. She says, "the eels have asked that you save this bottle for your own true love, so that you may share it together." In my own head, I know that eels can't talk, but they also can't fetch wine bottles, so I accept the bottle and tell the lake/eels that I will do as they have asked.

As we turn to leave, I hear a happy, yet somewhat mournful kind of singing coming from the lake. I turn back to the lake and I see a beautiful ghostly couple dancing over the water as the eels circle around them, singing about love.

I do not know what possessed me to share this dream, but I felt that I should.

In celebration of it, go open up a beer, or a bottle of wine, or your favorite drink with those you love (or that one true love of your own), and I hope you have a lovely experience doing so.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Loss and The Decemberists

I'm going to find my feet as I write this, because I don't feel comfortable just delving into the story.

Love is an odd thing.

It's frustratingly complicated.

I have no answers for whatever is happening to my mind when the waves of love show their white crests.

I can't explain to you why I have done what I've done, nor chosen what I have.

I can simply tell you that it is what it is, and that I'm not even remotely sorry.

I'm not even remotely perfect.

No one is.

I have, however, been on one hell of an adventure.

I'm completely undone, pieces falling apart, raveling undone, and melting butter all over the sides of the world.

I am past people in this.

This is an internal thing that I can't even begin to give a name.

This is going to be one of the stories I tell my kids, if I ever have them.

I met Greg tonight.

Greg lost the love of his life two months ago...

...suddenly to a heart attack.

She was sitting in the family room, surrounded by family, and on her iPad, and passed.

That quickly.

He has been coping, and grieving, and I was told his story this evening by his daughter.

His wife loved the Decemberists. Her favorite album is The Crane Wife, and he has been trying to connect to her person by connecting to her music, the books she has read...

His enthusiasm this evening in finding the little bit of her that he did made a massive impact on me.

His daughter said she hasn't seen him smile in months.... that he hasn't left the house in months.

He found his love again this evening. She may not be here physically, but he has her in every bit of him. He lived in every song in a way that I never have. He loved her music because he loved her, and he never asked for anything but her in the process.

It was incredible watching the concert tonight simply because of how he did. It made me feel uneducated in how I perceived the music. I felt so one-dimensional... like I lost the potential in the song... because I had never been in his situation, nor near it.

...I am terrified that the person I love would die so suddenly like that.

I am scared that their spark of life will one day no longer exist.

It stuns me.

I have always, and will continue to hope, that I will find, and have an opportunity to enjoy a love like that in my life.

That I will never lose my partner.

But, holy hell, tonight.

What a story.

I hope we continue telling each other these stories. Because I fear that we'd all be broken without them.

...That we'd all settle and become complacent.

...That we'd forget that we don't have to feel so alone.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Catch You On The Flipside.

I have a habit of following my feet.

They always point to where I would like to go.

Often enough, I never know where that will be until I'm practically there.

My stomach is much of the same; I want Thai, Vietnamese, deep fried mac n cheese, ramen, brisket, fresh apples, and pickled green beans on a dime.

I always know a good idea of what I'm looking for... of what I want.

There's this bizarre spark in me that knows.

I have friends that ask me what's for dinner, where they should go eat.... what they should drink--whether it be beer, champagne, cocktails, whiskey, etc. It varies city to city.

I get kicks off on single barrel aged rum and cozy feelings about botanical gin.

Sometimes I want a Moscow Mule, that bright copper cup cutting the simple vodka and ginger beer drink within.

Other nights I want a neat wheat whiskey lighting barn fires in my chest and making me hum songs I find burning in my soul.

And then there are the bright evenings and afternoons filled with coconut, pineapple, and tiki glasses filled with Singapore Slings, surrounded by SPF 50, bikinis, sand, beaches, and Knockaround sunglasses.

I bleed golden with the sunshine.

I make every lady around me feel tan, and I absolutely love it.

I sate my mind with constellations at night, and the dreams of tenderness beneath.

If the moon could burn me, I would shine a lovely shimmer of silver.

My favorite compliment I ever received was, "You have the mind of a jazz musician."

And perhaps... that is it. I don't improvise on a horn, on a guitar, or by voice. I improvise life. I have this hard belief that we all should fly by the seat of our pants, and just discover every inch of life.

Why, why, tell me... are we answering phones at 9pm about inconsequential shit?

Why do we turn from our loved ones to text back people asking questions that could just as simply have been answered tomorrow morning?

At what point did we become so giving that we gave up our own personal lives to please everyone over everything?

I wonder why.

Maybe this is my anthem that, I get it... We will conquer the world and our environment around it. I, however, feel a need to carve a little bit of time out for myself.

My semi-vacation next week is that. I need it. I'm wondering how many hours a ginger can sleep on a padded poolside bench before someone comes up and freaks out about my potential sunburn.

(I'm wearing SPF 50.)

I just want to put on a good pair of Bose headphones, lie down under the sun, lie by the beach, and find good beer, good Cuban sandwiches, and perhaps, a good local hand rolled cigar that I can tell you beautiful dreamers about.

I want to follow my feet to this summer. It will be, without a doubt, a beautiful one. I know this because my feet... they're itching towards June.

There's a hop farm festival, there's my sister's 30th, there's Foothills' taproom party, there's my grandparents, aunt and uncle as well, coming into town, and my high school best friend's wedding.

There's sunshine, warm water, and a whole lot of Buzz City's Finest.

The world is my oyster in 2015, and it's just now opening up.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Hello, you.

I have a few stories to tell you.

Tonight, I watched three different sets of people fall in love.

Or, back in love...

Interestingly enough, I used this evening as an opportunity to watch the crowd and educate myself about people.

I watched the first date infatuation and love. I watched a first kiss tonight and in the depths of me I felt so comforted by that. I felt the soft corners of the beginnings of love and it was fantastic.

I know those two are going to create something this year. I hope it's a phenomenal something that resonates in their lives. That they create a memory that lasts in their minds forever. That they find something in each other that makes sense and blossoms into a special part of who they are.

Love is such a sticky, messy, frustrating thing.

My second watching was of these two people in the Neighborhood Theatre who were... well, who knows. They seemed very intimate together.

She turned to him in the middle of a song (Shovels and Rope playing) and he looked at her and I was undone by the sparks. She loves him. He loves her. It was a beautiful, raw, honest feeling they shared. So incredibly beautiful.

That bleeding heart honesty.

I want to write stories about it.

I want them to write stories about it for their great grand children.

I want them to write letters and tell each other about the feelings they have for each other and put them in a shoebox. We will discover them when we should, but we want that story.

We want to hear about your adventures...

Regardless. Past the first stories.........

The third kind of love I saw tonight....

He conquered the "friend zone."

And, sometimes you don't want to pass that zone, I know that.

I have had the moment where I want to create something out of a prior relationship and I have been shut down due to my prior decisions. I've, almost, personally, ruined friendships by wanting more than a simple friendship. I have made that fault.

But, there was this moment. Where I, across the room, saw this man and this woman who had a connection.

And she made the move.

She kissed him!

He liked it too!

Life gets complicated, and often that isn't the answer,  but I watched it turn out well.

They weren't just kindling a friendship, or an awkward love.... These two were past that.

They were in love.

They were writing each other love letters in their heads.

They were writing stories.

They were making movies in their heads.

They were beginning to create history.


I wish I had the words and the imagination and the ability to translate their story, their love, and their utter ability to let loose.

There isn't a perfect answer to how beer is let loose into the market; nor the perfect answer to tell the world how you sell beer...

...but there are a few beautiful opportunities where you get to share your experiences with each other and you get to change their lives the way that the first good bourbon you ever had did...

....the way that wheat whiskey warmed your throat.

.....the way you fell in love with the lifestyle our job gives us.

......the way we love whiskey.

Ultimately, I am so incredibly happy that you are part of my life.

Part of my story.

Part of me.

I love each and every one of you for that.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Home Plate

I'm at home plate in Cayce, SC.

I'm not joking; I'm sitting on home plate in Cayce, SC.

I need to be alone.

I spent the last twelve hours at a beer festival and I just need to be away from everything.

I'm aching for summer.

I'm drinking CAVU and wearing tank tops hoping that will rush along the seasons.

My left leg has a hot spot. I woke up this morning and almost broke down when I saw it. I don't need that right now. There is simply too much going on.

I need sunshine. It makes me healthy. 

I need beaches and slight sunburns and loud music and separation from the world.


Center me.

I'm sitting on home plate in Cayce, SC. 

I can't see Orion, but I can see first. 

And second.

And third.

So, I can see the game. 

I can hear the crack of the bat.

I know that I can wreck it. I know that I can batter up. I know that I can tap that bat on my heel and smile, because I know I can kill it.


I'm laying down on home plate in Cayce, SC and I'm wishing you were here. 

The cloud cover sucks. 

I see one star.

I wish I were able to hold your hand.

I'm laying on home plate and I see everything. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

So we established one thing!

.... Alright, I'm a jerk.

I asked you to go on this super awesome adventure on me with this blog, and then I left you hanging for six days!

That was rude of me, so I apologize for that.

In good news, this is the second time I've updated this blog in more than a week, so BOOYAH. I'm improving!

I wanted to talk to you all about two awesome things I've had and talked about so far in the last week.  (With more to come tomorrow!)

I have two things on the menu for you:

1. Redemption Brew Works Ginger Beer - from Charlotte, NC!
2. My idea of the perfect bawdy drinking night - Irish and Scottish men, whiskey, and drinking songs!

Let's do it!

Firstly, I've had a pretty damned stellar New Year so far. I spent New Years Day at Courtyard Hooligans watching soccer (EPL), ate lunch at Dish in Plaza Midwood, brought Buzz City's Finest (the most amazing Australian Shepherd ever) to Franklin Park off W 4th St EXT to play at the dog park, bathed his muddy bum, and then Uber'd it Uptown to hang at Connolly's off 5th. I finished it off writing that last post in a rocking chair at Tilt, smoking a cigar and sipping on Lagavulin 16.

Not a bad way to start the year, eh?!

Well, nor was being given a 4-pack of ginger beer from the new, and awesomely local Redemption Brew Works. Female-owned, naturally fermented, bottle conditioned ginger beer made from a recipe passed down through generations.

Before I get into how I felt about this ginger beer, I'll let you know my other favorite ginger beers. I love Fever Tree's (spicy, dry, not very sweet at all), Heist's (can't beat getting a growler of local ginger beer), and Blenheim's Hot (aggressive, spicy, and sweet).

That being said, I was very pleasantly surprised by Redemption's offering. I'm always nervous about new fermented products, mostly because it's similar to new breweries... it takes time to get dialed in. It takes a few batches to balance everything out, and ultimately tasting right.

My first swig was full of bright sugar, fresh ginger that lingered, and well balanced carbonation. Not overly done. I, at first, thought it was too sweet, but then I remembered that I usually drink my ginger beer in Mules... so I needed to remember that ginger beer normally is a little sweet. What I really like about Redemption's ginger beer is how fresh and spicy the ginger is. It builds. The way hot pepper builds on your tongue. If you drink it fast enough, you have a delicious throat burn. It balances very well against that original sweetness you encounter. The ginger cuts the sugar on your tongue and in your throat.

It's absolutely lovely.

It also makes a banging Mule.

That being said, I highly suggest (if you like ginger beer and Mules) to pick up a 4-pack at Common Market, Rhino Market, or Queen City Pantry (with more locations coming soon).

Now for something less serious!

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about New Years Eve debauchery and why so many of us dread drinking out and about that night, when I was asked a very silly, yet fun question: "What is your idea of the perfect drinking night out?"


I haven't really thought about that before.

What would I want to do if my only goal were to go out that night, get drunk, and then let the night take me down its path of adventure?

After a pause, I looked at him and said, well... "I'd like to go drink with a bunch of hairy and bearded Irish and Scottish men, drink whiskey, and ultimately end up singing bawdy drinking songs."

Needless to say, that got a hell of a laugh. He then followed with, "Alright, explain."

Here's my theory, then; I think we, as Americans, drink too much alone. I think too many of us go out drinking with the intention to get remarkably, and splendidly trashed. To sit on our phones at the bar, hoping that the person next to us will break the ice and begin conversation, or by the end of the night the boy or girl we have made eyes at all night will give us that delicious eye waggle that cues us in, "SHE/HE WANTS MY HOT BODY!"

....Or we sit at home on our couches, eating leftover Chinese food from our previous hangovers, and drinking while watching Netflix and tweeting about how we can't believe character X left character Y, and OMG Jason Statham makes me so hot on the inside.

Unfortunately, I disagree with that kind of drinking.

Don't get me wrong, I think we should all get to have fun (and fantasize about Jason Statham), but I think we isolate ourselves in public (and private) far too much.

Other cultures don't see drinking as something so bloody lonely and boring. Quite a few don't even drink at home and only see it as a social thing.

My perfect drinking night would go like this:

-Get off work.
-Get to bar.
-Drink a pint, perhaps a few, and some whiskey.
-Throughout this process, make friends with all my neighbors, who are preferably people who know drinking songs, or quick to pick them up.
-Chat and chat until someone gets drunk enough to kick off the first line of a drinking song... to which we would all begin to join in. (I have done this with Disney songs, but I'm hoping we can do something more inappropriate here.)
-Awesomeness ensues.
-Buy a round for the bar.
-Round 2 singing begins.
-Rinse and repeat.
-By the end of the night, have arms slung over neighbors, and them over their neighbors, and we're bellowing amazing drinking songs into the night, laughing our asses off.

That's my kind of proper drinking night.

A good whisky (Scots, English spell it this way), or whiskey (Irish, American) buzz, music in our ears, and friends for life thanks to simple fun. That's how it should be.

Now, unfortunately, it's time I head to bed. Tomorrow I have a few more items to chat and catch up about, considering I'm a little behind already this year:

1. Breakbot's album, "By Your Side," which I can't get out of my head - circa 2012
2. My recent obsession to get back into baking and cooking - this girl needs distractions
3. The drink that makes me happy inside, and the variations of "The Moscow Mule."

See you tomorrow, and much love,


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Years--

Happy New Years, babes.

This is for you.

I want to tell you all something.

I don't do resolutions. I break them.

I'm stubborn and a pain in the ass.

Ginger life.

I'm nursing a cigar at Tilt. I'm doubling down on Lorde's Pure Heroine. 

I'm solid right now.

My goal this year is to update this blog. Daily. If I'm not an asshole. 

To be honest. To give you all my inner bits,

I get weird.

But it's cool. 

If you're up for the ride, I will join you.