Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wish Me Luck! A 5K on Saturday

With the house-buying, wedding, and puppy-training behind me, I no longer have an excuse for not exercising, so I've decided it's time to get back on the wagon. I've been to my gym's women's center three times in the last week. Right now I'm only running/walking on the treadmill, because I still feel pressed for time, and running is my goal.

I've signed up for a 5K and a 4-mile run. The 5K is this Saturday! I'm totally not ready.

The first annual Project Haiti 5K is part of Project Haiti, a medical mission trip of students, faculty, and staff of the University of Florida College of Medicine and Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL. Started in 1996, every year they travel to provide free healthcare to people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

My friend Kelly, who ran the Disney Marathon this January, suggested a group of us do it. Of course, just because I signed up with her and some other friends doesn't mean I'll be running with them. I am, after all, a penguin - a slow runner. I'll say hello when we all meet at 8:30 am on Saturday morning to start the 5K, and then cheerfully wave goodbye, and well, eat their dust.

Because a woman who runs marathons - that's 26.2 miles, y'all - should not have to wait up for a chick who's "running" a 15-minute mile. And also because I subscribe to the Jeff Galloway "run walk method," so no matter how fast I will ever run, I will always take walk breaks, and that's not for everybody, I know.

A 5K is a little over three miles, so I think I should be okay. I just hope I'm not last!

My husband asked if I was going to the "big" gym, and I told him that I was going to the gym's women's center. Not only because it's smaller and more "adult" than the main center, but also because I don't - DO NOT - want to run into any of our gym rat friends. Very few things are as embarrassing as wheezing along on a treadmill, going reeeaally slow, than having some buff dude and his tiny-and-trim girlfriend stop to say hello. When I'm running, my face gets all red and I sweat like, I don't know, like someone who sweats a lot. Like my old food service boss in college, who was easily 300 pounds and drank like a fish. Wow, did that man sweat.

ANYWAY. The proceeds from the Project Haiti 5K this weekend will go to toys, toiletries, clothing, medicines and more for the people the project serves in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beer America TV (is not impressed with your cheap beer)

How is it that I had never heard about this? I was reading the Brookston Beer Bulletin, an awesome beer blog based in San Francisco/ Northern California (and thus constantly teasing me with all sorts of cool beer and cool beer events), and beer writer Jay Brooks was doing one of his regular "beer birthday" posts, where he features a notable beer person on their birthday.
"Today is also the 41st birthday of John Pinkerton, founder and brewmaster of Moon River Brewing in Savannah, Georgia. John is also involved in Beer America TV. He also brews some terrific beers and is great fun to drink a beer or three with. Join me in wishing John a very happy birthday." (from Jay Brooks' August 16 post on Brookston Beer Bulletin)
Beer America TV? I had never heard of this thing. Some of this is because I don't tend to watch video online much. But still! How has this escaped my attention? Anyway, birthday boy John Pinkerton and Paul Leone, whose background is in TV/video production, are the hosts, and most of the episodes are them drinking a beer and talking about it. They also do some "go to the brewers" interviews and such. It seems pretty cool: laid-back, with a brewer and a "regular guy" who like beer, talking beer. I can dig it.
The most recent one was about Lazy Magnolia's Indian Summer Spiced Ale. They really like it. But what struck me most was, when Paul Leone talks about how great it is that there are more choices for summer beers by craft brewers now, he admits to once drinking Miller Lite during the warmer months.  Of course, he knew, even before uttering the words, that he was out of line.
"I would actually drink..." Here Leone pauses and looks at Pinkerton apologetically, "I'm gonna say it - Miller Lite in the summertime."
John Pinkerton, the professional American craft brewer, was shaking his head before Leone could finish the sentence.
"Wow," Pinkerton chuckles. 
You could see the subtext all over his face--"Wow" equals "I can't believe you actually said that out loud. On a beer vlog. About American craft beer." But it was all in good fun, and I couldn't help but laugh. Especially when Leone goes on to say, "Because it was ice-cold, watery, you can just throw it down..."
Which is EXACTLY why I love Miller Lite. I'm not sure if I've said this yet, but I love me a cold Miller Lite during the summertime.
You sit in the sun at Ginnie Springs in North Central Florida on a Saturday in August for a couple of hours and see what you feel like drinking. Not, as Leone said, "some ten percent beer." No, you want a light American lager. It's refreshing! It's delicious (when ice-cold). It's the beer drinker's, well, water.

Posted via email from Scurrilous Tosh

Monday, August 16, 2010

Strange Brew: St. Somewhere Saison Athene

My friend and fellow blogger, the Sassy Crafter, shared an article with me that she found online about a Tarpon Springs, FL-based brewery, Saint Somewhere. They're tiny and specialize in Belgian ales, which I have recently discovered. So it was with great delight that I found a bottle in my local beer shop, Dorn's. To add to the excitement, it turned out to be a saison - a style of beer I have only just heard of and of course had never tried. Two birds with one stone: Florida brewery AND new style of beer!
First, what's a saison? Brewed in the French-speaking part of Belgium, it's a "farmhouse" style ale, meaning in the "olde" days, ye regular folk made this type of beer in the winter and had it ready to drink by summertime. Don't think this means "lightly refreshing summer beer," in the style of a wheat beer or--heaven help us--a Bud Lime. According to beer god Michael Jackson, a saison is a "sharply refreshing, faintly sour, top-fermenting brew, sometimes dry-hopped, often bottle-conditioned, 5.5 - 8 by volume."
Being the kind of girl who buys wine for the pretty labels, I have to admit that the label on the Saint Somewhere Saison Athene made it all the more appealing. A pretty girl-fairy soars over a Southern-looking locale (evidenced by the palm and citrus trees, and well, the fact they're based in Tampa). Very Mucha, Belle-Epoch-looking stuff. You can (sorta) see from their web site that their other brews have similar labels.*
This is a big bottle - I got almost four pint glasses out of it. And it's not "light," per se - 7.5% (for comparison, a Sam Adams summer ale is 5.20%). And the taste?
Not that I had any expectations, but ... I guess I must have, because this wasn't what I expected. Very sour, like a fuzzy, beery lemonade almost. With a lot of different flavors thrown in the mix for good measure. This is one complex brew. It kind of reminded me of a lambic - another Belgian beer. Very distinct, not at all "hoppy," even though hops are used. But I think, like lambics, this beer's hops were dry, because I didn't get that herbal, perfumey taste that I get from the popular American "hop bombs" (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, as an example - to me, anyway; I'm not sure a "hop head" would think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was sufficiently hoppy). What I did get was . . . funky. And I don't mean that in a necessarily bad way. Just really, really, really different.
Would I buy it again? No, not anytime soon, only because there are a lot of other new styles of beer I want to try. This is unusual enough that I wouldn't add it to my everyday repertoire (as I have, say, the Wacko summer ale).
* - The Saint Somewhere web site is all Flash (boo!) - which explains why I couldn't see anything when I first tried to look at it via my iPhone. The images are all very pixilated and they don't give individual descriptions of each style of beer they're currently brewing, instead relying on Beer Advocate reviews! What? You can't even simply type out what's on the back of the bottle? Even that would be better (wish I had the bottle here with me while typing this, actually). Not enough "story" on the brewery, either. At least it didn't have music.

Posted via email from Scurrilous Tosh