had a lovely night out with some friends at the brewery; sammogee had invited me along when i bumped into him in Davis last week.
of course, we were supposed to meet up down there around 5:30. did that happen? noooo. what with all the insanity at work lately, i wasn't able to leave with the bus; told them to save me a seat and i'd be down there as soon as i could. i was a little worried that would be a problem, as they were going to grab a table for dinner. turns out it all worked out fine. the place wasn't too crowded, so they were able to set aside a table for ten and wait for us to drib and drab our way in. and of course, the guest of honor was late. workaholic that he is, that came as exactly no surprise. ;)
and we never did order a proper dinner, so i didn't crash in on the middle of things. we just sat around munching on apps and drinking large quantities of really good beer. funny, how that happens at a brewery.
i did get a bit snarked off, because i couldn't talk to one of my friends. n___ was there, sitting right next to him. it's usually like Old Home Week for me when i go down there, and i like to be able to bop around and talk to people i know. the fact that n___'s mere presence kept me from doing that made me angry. such a weasel. and he kept looking over at me, as he's wont to do. at least my friends jumped in to offer protective coloration and run interference.
and he left in relatively short order, which made the rest of the night nicer. still didn't talk to get to my friend who was sitting with him, but caught up with a few others. it's so rare for me to feel like the social butterfly that i revel in it when i do. sat with the gang from work, walked around to talk to friends at the bar, went back to the table, hopped over to another table to touch base with a friend who was on the first leg of a bachelor party bar crawl, came back to the table, and just generally had a lovely chatty time.
the conversation at the table was a mix of silly, geeky and erudite. we were out for a night of fun, which explains the silly. geeky? hey, we all do computers. the erudite... oh, man. this is a smart gang with random knowledge about so many things. at one point, i managed to set sammogee off on a rant about the Mormons (i did it on purpose, just because i love to hear him talk). there's a new cathedral here (is that what they call them?), and the steeple was just completed. everyone is complaining about how ugly it is. frankly, i don't see that it's much different from the Catholic church across the highway, because neither of them used complementary construction materials, but that's just my opinion. but i took the opening.
the angel on the top of the steeple, the one who revealed the tablets in upstate New York, is Moroni. right. traditionally pronounced with the second 'o' long. but you see where i'm going. ;) one of the women at the table said, 'moroni?' 'yeah. like moron with an i', pipes in someone else. the resulting disquisition was equal parts history lesson and humor. ah, how i've missed you, sammogee. :)
now, i like beer. i used to not be so fussy. hey, in college, you drink what you can afford. since then, i've gotten a bit pickier. i tend to go for microbrews. and once you've tried Guiness in the homeland, you've had nectar. i like to take my time, savor the tastes, try to figure out the brewing techniques (okay, so i can only really figure out the hops part, but i'm working on it), and generally enjoy the experience. so imagine my amazement when sammogee got the beer sampler and knocked it down in record time. 9 samples, 3 ounces each. 27 ounces in 27 seconds.
i tried not to watch, because it seemed rude. then again, we were in a public place, and others were commenting. about beer shot #4, i gave up on being subtle, and just sat back to drink in the spectacle, so to speak. the truly impressive part, if there is one, is that he could actually name and describe each of them. *steps back to applaud* you're a better man than i, my friend. ;)
and kudos to the brewmaster. the pumpkin ale was truly wonderful. light, amber, a little pumpkin, a little nutmeg/clove sort of taste. i know it's a pain in the ass to make, and i know you hate making it. one of your least favorite seasonals, i think. for the record - your patrons think it's well worth the aggravation. thanks!
eventually, the talk turned to pool. we debated staying for another round, or going to shoot a few games. pool and darts won out, and we migrated next door. *insert standard rant about lack of to go cups, as they serve the same beer in both places*
we got a table, and someone had the bright idea to do a round of shots. to improve our game, of course. ;) they wanted tequila, and wanted me to do a shot too. tequila is right up there on my personal list of HazMat substances, so no go. i said i'd do a shot, but i had to pick it, and they all had to do the same one. one round of Screaming Nazis, coming right up. if you've never had one before, it's half Jaegermeister, half Rumplemintz. tastes better than it sounds, trust me. much to my amusement, i paced them all. i had figured for sure that if you could do tequila, you could shoot pretty much anything. apparently not.
the pool game was a lot of fun. the whole gang was goofin' around, shooting decently but not too seriously, and enjoying it. the guys kept laughing every time i took a shot, and i finally stood up from lining up a shot to ask what the deal was. apparently, they all thought i was a shark, because i get The Look when i'm lining up, all serious like. that, plus i sank some nice bank shots. might have had something to do with it, you think?
also tossed a pretty good game of darts. loaned my darts to a friend (yes, i carry them with me, just in case), and i used bar darts, so i figured i was a goner. then i hit two double bulls on the first round. whee! turned out to be a pretty evenly matched game, which made it even nicer.
all in all, a very enjoyable night out. here's hoping we don't have to wait another few years to get everyone together again.