It’s a Date Night Thing…

The Surly Review, Bunnys Sports Bar, St. Louis Park, MN: A few months into the second year of blissful matrimony the Beer Nag looks at me and says, “We need a thing.”

BS: “A thing?” I said.
BN: “Yeah, you know our thing, something we do together.”
BS: “We Travel.’ I patiently explain.
BN: “Yes, but we need a thing when we are home.” BN said.
BS: “That is where we plan our trips.”

Seems so obvious to me.  Should have been simple, right?  Nope.  So I find myself at Arthur Murray Dance Studio.  Guess what our “thing” is.  This is not all bad.  For one thing, the thing that is to be our thing involves physical contact with the BeerNag and that ain’t all bad.  I also find out as BN and Kathryn (our lovely dance instructor) exchange lines from Dirty Dancing: Turns out the man is in charge on the dance floor!  I like being in charge.  I decide to find out if Kathryn really knows her movie.  “OK Kathryn, in the scene where Robbie the waiter held up a book and says , ‘some people don’t count’, what book is he holding?” not a blink “The Fountainhead” she answers.  I tell the BeerNag we can stay.

Afterward I explain to BN that she looks thirsty and I just happen to know a bar a few blocks down.  The expression on BN’s face is resignation if not agreeement.  Bunnys is a great sportsbar and has been aroud like 80 years.  It has about a dozen screens, there is music, but one has to strain to hear it so the BN won’t be distracted as I regale her with  brilliant storys.  We get some cheesy bread to stave off BN’s impending anorexia and I order a Surly.  The surley has a nice bite, but a slightly annoying after taste.  It is a beer I want to drink slowly which is good ‘cuz I have to drive home.  Of course I have another just to confirm the after taste.  I was right, too bad!  The BeerNag enjoyed the dancing.  Of course, she got to follow me.  I like being in charge.  I think Tuesdays at Arthur Murray’s followed by Bunny’s is a thing we can agree on.

Rum-bellina (BeerNag) says: Wow, I feel like I’m being set up to have to agree with you… humm… am I on a plane in Australlia?  (you’ll have to tell story later)  Yes, I did say “we need a thing” and Yes, we are learning to dance or as my cousin Dean calls it “Hugging while slowly moving across the floor.”  Which brings me to Dirty Dancing.  Remember the part where Baby says, “This is my dance space”?  Imaging me making the arch with my arms, pointing and saying that…  Oh, and I totally look like Baby (not).  That is how the Dirty Dancing conversation started… in charge or not BS, stay out of my dance space!  🙂   Kathryn is amazing… she puts up with a lot and we’ve actually started to do something that others might mistake as dancing!   She really did know it was the Fountainhead, then she mentioned “We the Living”, you know how in cartoons, when they show love, the character’s eyes bulge out with hearts as pupils?  That was BeerStar!  Good thing they had that “No fraternization” sign hanging up or he’d been a gonner!  (rolling eyes) —  Using LiquidGranola Speak, Kathryn is a total CornHusker.  Hey Kathryn, don’t make us do extra “dance laps”… that’s a compliment 🙂 🙂

Bunnys is great, we almost wear off enough calories dancing to compensate for the cheeze bread, then again it is sweater weather in MN so we really don’t care.  Although, we’ll have to cut back on the cheezy bread before our next trip.  You know the one that we’re spending hours and hours of “together time”, every night, dilligently planning, with the globe and Rand McNally mileage calculator… sharpen those pencils!   What are those loving words of inspiration you say about trip planning, “just tell me when to show up”?

BeerStar says: (response)


New York Models, Heartland Brewery, & Shutting Down Yankee Stadium

Heartland Brewery Beer Review: Ok, it’s Septmber 2008, they were closing Yankee Stadium. The Beer Nag knows I’m a life long Yankee fan. We haven’t been married a year yet so she still likes me. She books a trip to NYC so we can go to a Yankee game, and I only have to go to one musical (Mamma Mia) as penance. We go to sleep the first night at the Manhattan Sheraton and wake up to see the view from our window on national TV. Yep, Lehman Brothers collapsed and we watched it in person.

We had a great time exploring NYC. Discovered that Central Park is quite hilly, TV and movies cannot do it justice as to how cool Central Park really is. And regardless of what the BN says, that gorgeous model really did dig me. I think she gave me “the wink.” The BN not only got me game tickets (Yankees lost to the White Sox), she also bought me a stadium tour.

The night of the game we had our pregame meal at “The Yankee Tavern.” Authentic food (I’ve spent some time on the East Coast) about an even mix of locals and tourists. The next morning we decide to take the subway back up to the Bronx for breakfast. We find the Crown Donut Diner. This place is true NYC. Locals, Cops, and, umm, Blunt Waitresses. Great food too! We also took a long walk around the Bronx which isn’t even scary in daylight. We had the Stadium Tour, which of course can no longer be done. The BN bought me an authentic Yankee Jersey with both the All-Star Game patch and the Last Year at Yankee Stadium Patch. Remember guys we’ve been married less than a year at this point. I’m not sure it will stay like this, but I’m trying to convince her that this is my baseline expectation and she is expected to improve.

And you thought this blog was supposed to be about beer… well, back in Manhattan we take a mid-afternoon walk to burn some calories. We turn down an East/West street and… WE FIND MECCA. The Heartland Brewing Company. This is NYC, but it says Heartland on the sign. I explain to BN that she looks like she could use a snack. I ordered Uncle John Oatmeal Stout. It’s supposed to taste like cappuccino according to the description. Man it’s good. It does taste like cappuccino, smooth and creamy rich wonderful drinkable oatmeal stout, and it was the second best beer I tasted at Heartland Brewing company. (Oh, 5 NYC locations and so far as I can tell, no where else) I explain to BN that she needs more snacks and order the Cornhusker Lager. It’s supposed to be made with “sweetcorn flakes” or something like that. Liquid cornbread, only its beer. Never, anywhere, have I EVER tasted a better beer. The BN looks at her watch. Sometime later she tells me I’ve talked about the same beer for 20 straight minutes. Liquid cornbread, nothing better. In fact, we went back the next day and I didn’t even try any of the other beers. It tastes that good. I even assured the BN that I think we should go back to NYC once or twice a year so I can take her to more musicals. She still has room to improve…

Rum-bellina (BeerNag) Says: So you just decided to dive right in the zero entry pool… no suspense as to the best beer ever… just shout it out! Well, now the world knows why you had to have this blog. UGHHHH Liquid Cornbread, and it was more like 30 minutes and NO snacks were involved. I was stuffed from the Crown Donut, totally recommend it. Especially the “you haven’t been waiting too long, I’ll let you know when you’ve been waiting too long” waitress. Love her! One piece of advice, don’t mess with the Crown Donut in a rush, you will get your food when they are ready to give it to you! We walked in, took the booth offered, and waited the appropriate amount of time for the BEST food of yester-year. I ate way too much! Thus the death march thorough Central Park. I will agree with BS that Central Park is a treasure.

But I’ve got a theory, all the “Law and Order” deaths discovered in Central Park are not murders, they are normal run of the mill deaths from people that died from exhaustion! Wholly cow there are hills in Central Park! Never gather that from any TV show you watch… they never show hills… and there are lots of them, many, many hills. I’ll bet the pretty model (half the age of beer star) didn’t have to climb the hills. I bet she likes beer. That’s what we call a BB (beer bitch). Oh who am I kidding, she did smile at Beer Star and it was one of those radiant, ear to ear smiles where if you listened careful enough you’d hear the “ting” as the beam of light shot out her mouth. We must hate her for that. Long story short, after we caused the collapse of Lehman Bros, caused the Yankees to Lose, caused them to close the House that Babe Ruth built, he had a beer, an amazing beer. Then we went to Mamma Mia, the musical BS picked out, not me, it was totally his idea. I wonder what BB would think about that?

BeerStar Says: As much as I would like everyone to think of me as a modern, sensitive, loving man who only wants his Beer Nag to be happy, I realize it is just not credible to try to let anyone believe that I would have picked a musical like Mamma Mia. I do appreciate BN trying to make me look better and all. We had tickets in the second row and when I pointed out the cellulite way up on one of the gorgeous actresses right thigh I discover that dear sweet “rum-bellina” has a quite sharp left elbow. Of course that wasn’t penance enough, do you know they actually made that, ummm spectacle into a movie. And no beer nag, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and the Devil (Meryl Streep) Can Not Sing!!!!!

How LiquidGranola Was Born!

Drifters Pale Ale Review: It’s about 80 degrees and sunny.  Pretty normal for mid-November in Florida, but terificly warm to us folks from Minnesota.  My wife wants to go sit by the pool.  I really don’t want to.  I try to explain that 90 is pool weather, she just looks at me.  You all know the look.

“Don’t they have beer at the pool?”, she asks sweetly.  They do.  Turns out they have Drifters Pale Ale on tap.  I order that.  It comes out a dark orangy brown, doesn’t look pale to me.  The bar tendress tells me it’s from Oregon. I pick a spot in the shade. The “BeerNag” (my wife) makes some remark about it being “too cool”, but yet I won’t sit in the sun… The beer tastes good.  I comment on the slightly citrus taste, observe that it is a refreshing, easy to drink beer, befitting of the poolside locale.  BN looks at me, “Write a blog” she says.  She really does not like beer, and apparently does not find my frequent ramblings about  beer to be entertaining.

Rum-bellina (affectionately known as “BeerNag”) says: — I hate beer, it makes my nose crinkle up… but let’s get this straight — it was 80!  Who the heck thinks that’s cold?  And what’s up with the “pool weather”… if it were any warmer the water would have been bubbling, oh wait, that’s the hot tub which I managed to get my loving husband to dip his toe into after he completely dissed my flip flops.  Let’s see, how LiquidGranola started… we were sitting next to the pool… that means a long way away from the pool (yet still close enough to see the excessive amount of back hair on the man in front of us) when BeerStar, as we shall now refer to him (or BS) was going on, and on, and on about his beer.  This is not uncommon and I thought to myself, you know the whole world needs to know about his love of beer. I’ve been selfish, it’s time to share.  So I said, “Write a blog”.  Just wait until BS comments on the all time, best beer, he’s EVER tasted in his entire life! (that’s what we call a teaser)

BeerStar: I like beer.  I was making conversation.  NO one else was talking.  I do not claim any expertise in the matter.  I just like beer.  Anything wrong with that?  And the flip flops make very annoying “squeeking noises” when she walks.