Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hooray Beer!

Someone a little while ago recommended that I get a hobby, assuming that this would in some way prevent me from spending a majority of my time posted up on my couch drinking beer and telling people I was still at work. Now, because I am open-minded and willing to take advice, I got a hobby: drinking beer.

Now most of you are reading that and saying: “That is not a hobby, that is your poor excuse for a coping mechanism.” Well you my friend would be wrong!

You see, I am on the record about not liking most things about Boulder, including bikers, hikers, smokers and just the general “oatiness” of this town. But one thing they get right is their beer. Boulder, and Colorado in general, is home to lots of micro-breweries and nano-breweries, defined as blah blah blah lots of beer.

Now let's get something straight, I am no beer snob. If you put it in my hand I will drink rubbing alcohol, so I'm not like some beer snobs who will only drink beer brewed by monks in the remote mountains of Germany.

But with that said, I do appreciate the difference between good beer and crappy beer more than I used to. A few years ago if you had asked me what my favorite kind of beer was, I would have answered “free beer,” or “beer that people at the bars are not keeping a close enough eye on.”

But today I have what some people would refer to as a sophisticated palate and even offer insights on each individual brew. For instance, sometimes after drinking a craft beer, I will opine on the flavor with such keen observations such as “This is good. Can I have more?” And when encountering a less sophisticated beer such as PBR, I will make elegant comments such as, “That tastes like a redneck pissed in a milk carton and left it out in the sun for five hours. Can I have more?”

But aside from showing off my beer-judging skills at parties (“Beer in a red solo cup? Can I have some more?”) the biggest benefit to being a “beer enthusiast” is going to beer festivals. To the untrained eye, a whole bunch of people gathering in an empty building and drinking beer all day would seem like a sad excuse to drink beer.

And you would be mostly right, but the true beauty of beer festivals is the wide variety of snobby, rich white people that show up to these beer festivals.

There are your older folks, who generally just see beer festivals as a way to drink some good beer and chat with their friends. There are the hipsters, who don't actually drink any of the beer and just Instagram their cups and talk about scarfs. There are people like me who just chug their beer, move on to the next booth, chug more beer then go looking for the closest food truck.

But the most dangerous group is the cougars. You see, younger women do not tend to drink craft beer, mainly because their tastes have yet to mature beyond cheap shots of tequila bought for them at crappy dance clubs by frat boys who shop for their T-shirts at Baby Gap.

So the women at beer festivals tend to be on the other side of 30. Don't believe me? The DJ at the last beer festival I went to in Denver played “Shout!” as the final song. And if you have never seen an entire room full of wasted, 40-something white women dancing alongside a bunch of hipster dudes petrified by them, then my friend you haven't truly lived.

Anyway, I've really delved into this new hobby of mine, and I've now visited over 50 breweries on my tour of America. In fact, today I will be headed to Colorado Springs for another beer festival and I will be sure to tell you all about it. Or at least Instagram it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Court Reporter

 So last night a friend and I went to a Denver Nuggets basketball game against the Chicago Bulls. Or at least that was the initial plan. But with an Asian and a woman in the car, we instead ended up in a very sketchy neighborhood, the type of place episodes of CSI start. 

Anyway, we eventually did make it to the game. Now typically going to a basketball game means sitting in the upper deck, watching the action far, far above the court with the other poor people, birds and the ghost of Edmund Hillary.

But for this game we decided to splurge on some lower level seats, and let me tell you they were worth it. Yes, the drink service and the comfy chairs and having the cheerleaders in front of us for much of the game was awesome, but the neat part about sitting that close is all the little things you never notice watching a basketball game on TV.

Now, the night got off to a very interesting start once they announced it was that it was “Noche Latina” night at the Pepsi Center.  What happens at “Noche Latina” you ask? A magical blend of cheesy, highly stereo-typical and probably racist things, that is what happens.  First off, the only music being played was Enrique Iglesias, and a mariachi band sang the national anthem (and very well might I add).

What is ironic about Noche Latina is my friend, Shaina is like 4% Mexican but acts like a crazy Mexican woman 90% of the time. Last night was a perfect example: She was seated next to two male Bulls fans and she somehow succeeded at talking trash the entire game while at the same time eating their nachos.

On my side, I had a hot blonde and her boyfriend, and while she was much better looking than the two Bulls fans, I am also 99% sure she is not sure how the game of basketball works. She had Nuggets gear on, but would clap and cheer for every single basket either team scored, like Jackie Harbough at the Superbowl.

But easily the most entertaining aspect of the night revolved around the Nuggets backup center JaVale McGee. For those of you not lucky enough to have experienced the seventh Avenger that is JaVale McGee, a little background. McGee is a gargantuan 7-footer with a 7’ 6” wingspan and ridiculous hops that occasionally result in incredible, video game-like events of mass destruction.

However, while God giveth talent, God also maketh stupid, and Mr. McGee is not exactly a wonder of the Wonderlic. How bad is it? He has entire YouTube countdowns dedicated to his many ill-fated decisions on the court. Among his many peculiar traits, he has a French alter ego on Twitter he uses to retweet his own Tweets, has a segway, and has a mustache tattoed on his finger (despite the fact he has an actual mustache) that leads to a very unfortunate celebration that could really be interpreted wrong by those who don’t see the tattoo.

Anyway, watching McGee on the bench at a game is riveting. Whoever sits behind him has the worst seat in the arena, because after every single Denver basket, this 7-foot person stands up and celebrates. And when I say celebrate, he doesn’t just clap or pound his chest. He does stuff like this:

What made this night even better is there was a girl two rows in front of us who had a McGee jersey on and, as it became clear throughout the night, is in love with JaVale. Whenever he would do anything in the game, this girl would let out a vicious victory cry and thrust her fists triumphantly into the air. After one particular huge dunk, this girl turned around to scream and taunt the Bulls fans next to us, and I’m pretty certain she was one second away from crawling over those two rows and doing this over their shredded carcasses. At that moment I was really glad there was an angry Latina in between me and the Bulls fans.

I’m not sure how this 18-year-old, 90-pound woman came to be in love with a 7-foot, 250 pound basketball player, but I am genuinely rooting for them. Maybe the Pepsi Center can get them together on the kiss cam or something.

Anyway, as for the actual game, the Nuggets routed the hapless Bulls by 30 points, something Shaina did not fail to alert our downtrodden Bulls fans to. When all was said and done, despite the fact I think Shaina was a little disappointed she never got to hit me on the jumbotron, it was a pretty great night. I think Danillo sums it up pretty well…