Eight Things I’ve Learned at My New Job

I think it was the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, but it might have been as late as during my senior year of high school that my then-best friend had the idea that we should spend the summer before college in Santa Monica, California waiting tables and hanging out on the beach. I thought this was a great idea, and then she told my mom about this idea.

Yes, my mom shot the idea down. No, she didn’t do it the way you think she did. There were no words like “absolutely not!” No, my mother simply laughed.

She might have been crying she laughed so hard.

When she finally caught her breath, my mother (MY OWN MOTHER) told my friend that she thought it sounded fun and was totally sure that my friend could do this thing and do it well.… Continue reading →

Experimenting. Trying to Improve.

Bill, who is a fantastic man, knows a thing or two about me. And so, for my most recent birthday, he got me “blogging related things.” Namely, a deck of writing prompts, and two interesting lenses.

The former he said he got me because it means the camera can easily slip into a purse or a backpack. I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet, but typing this post makes me think I might haul it to work.

The later? Well, he got me that one because it’s THE focal length everyone recommends, apparently, for food photos. And I love it. I’m not GOOD with it yet, but I love it.

I took it with me to a mezcal tasting this weekend. And… The photos are not fantastic yet.… Continue reading →

Beer and My Favorite Museum

Wow. It’s been almost a year since my first beer event at the Field Museum. I didn’t realize. I’ve gone to write about about it a few times and always found myself at a loss. This is not the fault of the beer, which was tasty, or the museum, that put on an awesome event. This was about me being at my favorite museum, the reasons why it’s my favorite museum, my old life, and my new life. So, I set it aside for awhile. Someday, I may even write it.

Going for another beer event last November was much more interesting, because it was all very centered on my “new” life. I was invited by Matt Tanka of Lakeshore Beverage (then River North Beer) to the “media preview” of the museum’s new bistro-style restaurant.… Continue reading →

My Organic Chemistry is So Rusty.

One of the funny things about being in a long-term, live-in relationship is how you can manage, sometimes, to do a single thing that manages to simultaneously irritate your partner and make them happy. I did so recently.

On a whim, I signed up for an online class. But not just any online class. A free, college-(senior)-level chemistry class. Prerequisite of “organic chemistry” listed. My friends JP and Jason are taking the class, and encouraged me to sign up. So I did. Then I tweeted about it.

Which is how poor Bill found out I was suddenly enrolled in this class. And was, understandably, a bit grumpy that not only did he find out about this via twitter and not, say, from me, he also was suddenly married to a woman who had homework again.… Continue reading →

Goose Island Clybourn’s “Beer Academy”

Just after Black Friday, I wrote a long post with some substantial tasting notes about beer. I enjoyed writing it, but I also thought I came off as a bit of a beer wanker. Interestingly, my friend Jen wrote a comment demanding I go taste more things and write about them. Apparently she liked the commentary. Given her demands, I thought maybe I’d share a bit about how I learned to taste beers and write ’em up like that.

I learned to taste by trying a ton of beers. I learned to talk about taste and understand what I am (was) tasting by trying to hit every single Beer Academy Goose Island Clybourn has put on for the last two years. I have not, in fact, managed to attend all of them.… Continue reading →