Hold the Phone

A guy that I work with was doing a great impression of when his mom, livid with him, goes to answer the phone.

"I don't know how moms do that," he said. "One minute they're tearing your ear off and the next, the next, second they switch into the nicest voice you've ever heard."

"David,where were you last night?" He had a scowl on his face and he was brandishing a finger. "I was home ma" now switching to an imitation of himself.

"Yeah, home last night. Then why didn't I see the car? If I catch you one more time -- why hello Mrs. Residue." Through the first couple sentences, David slowly brought his outstretched thumb and pinkie to his ear and mouth. Then suddenly his menacing tone switched to the butteriest, most chipper and inviting voice you ever heard.

"They can have a whole conversation like that" -- his mom and Mrs. Residue can. "And if I try to leave the room, she'll glare at me or cover the mouthpiece: just where do you think you're going." He hissed the last words.

"And then straight back to her cheery voice. It's like they are having a great time. You might think I was off the hook, but when she hangs up it's back to as mad at me as she was before. I don't get it."

A couple of nights ago, Mitch and I had a fight before some friends came over. We hadn't resolved much, and it was half an hour after we were supposed to pick them up. I was steaming. As we tried to decide what we were going to do, cancel on them, have them over anyway and fake it, have them over and be moody, I decided that maybe I'm not cut out for this proper adulthood thing. I'm not sure I can be so duplicitous.


Killing Me Softly

I want to introduce you to something that kills me. It's when people say something jocularly or like it's an absolute fact that everyone knows, but only it's not a fact, and it depresses my goddam pants off. It's as if, in casual conversation, the person talking to me takes child safety scissors out of her hand bag and drives them, as nicely as possible, into my chest.

Annie and I made up some examples:

Man, if one more of these soccer players takes his shirt off, I'm going to have to have sex with my husband.

I wish I didn't have to live anymore, but I don't want to, you know, kill myself.

If he were any more attractive, I'd have to brush my hair.

If I were anymore racist, I would write for ESPN.

I really wanted to lose weight so I had all my teeth pulled.

She's so funny for a girl.

I really wanted to lose weight so I started drinking light beer.

If God really wanted me to have a boyfriend, he would have put a vagina on my face.

Only those who can afford a luxurious life deserve it.

Happiness is really only for people who have souls.

I really like girls, but all the hot ones have eating disorders.

Women are intimidated by high expectations.

Choosing joy: because happiness isn't enough.

"I should probably get out of bed." "No, don't. It's over-rated."


Chicago Beers

Alright, so the title might be a bit too grand. What I really mean is "Three Chicagoland breweries that I know about and like."

Two Brothers Brewery is located out in Warrenville, a suburb to the west of Chicago, close to Mitch's parents's place. Started by, yes, two brothers and is housed inside an old gymnastics warehouse. Brewed with kind of funky-tasting well water, their beers are a little hit and miss. They do have two excellent ones: Northwind Imperial stout, almost black in color, medium to heavy body and chocolaty. 8.5% alcohol, Mitch and I had a good time filling up the growler and riding our bikes home on the Prairie Path. The other good one is called Domaine DuPage (DuPage is the county) and is considered a "French Style Country Ale" which is fancy for "a pretty solid amber." This is just a good beer, golden, balanced, refreshing.

Finch's Beer Company is only a little over a year old, putting their cans out on shelves only a few months ago. We took a tour of their unmarked brewery that fits inside of one room, the best part being that we got unlimited beer. They sell two beers outside of the brewery, their "Golden Wing" amber and their pale, in four packs of sixteen ounce cans (think Seven Seas). I like their pale and am not impressed by their amber, but the beer they are not distributing, just brewing in small batches for tours and staff, is incredible. Their IPA and Dunkelweiss were delicious, and I helped myself to seconds and thirds. I also helped myself to a conversation with the brew master's brother who claimed "Midwest brewers are the best in the world!" To which I couldn't agree, but it encourages me to see that kind of enthusiasm.

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to get a tour of Half Acre Brewery in Ravenswood, Chicago. (One of Mikey's friend's roommates works there, he went to Wheaton.) This brewery has the best artwork of the three -- its cans of Daisy Cutter being so awesome that I kept one for several days before convincing myself to recycle it. (That logo, on an unfinished silver can looks really fucking good.) And back when I was commuting from Glen Ellyn (we moved last weekend!), this was my beer of choice for the train ride. Half Acre's other beers, an American brown ale and an amber, are alright -- the amber will probably be better in the summer. Daisy Cutter's great though, unfiltered, bitter, crisp.



L to R: Uncle Doug, Uncle Steve, Uncle Mark, Aunt Mary, my mom, Leslie, (aka the girl that looks like Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird) and Grandma Helen. not pictured/photographer: Grandpa Jack.

For my Grandpa Jack's (Mom's dad) 50th high school reunion he wrote the following notes for his classmates:

Family: Married May 1952 to Helen Hughes. For children see note above.

Work: John D. Hankey & Associates, Appleton, WI 1977-1989. I turned my business over to Doug and Steve in 1989. Helen and I are now employed by them. I never worked so hard in my life!

Interests and Hobbies: fishing, hunting, camping, golf, flower gardening, bridge, work, being grandpa.

Memories of School Days:
1.Class night of 1940. Class of '41 being called on stage by the class of '40 and asked some smart ass questions. Who up-staged whom?

2. The time in class that I asked Dorothy Stoddard who she would like to see win the World Series. Dorothy looked at me with disdain and replied, "Why the United States of course!" That reply was an original and made the school paper.

He wrote this 19 years ago on the eve of his death in 2010.

Tomorrow will mark two years since he's left us.

Raise your class to the Protestant Englishman.