Category Archives: beer

a big announcement

February 1, 2016

i left on a grand adventure today.

well, a few days ago now. it has been a bit busy.

i have packed up my little apartment, loaded my pathetic puppy onto an airplane, and moved to san diego, california.

well ain't that a view!

i have been transferred out here for work. for those of you who know me, you know that this was not really in my plans. not really a destination that was on my list of places to live. which sounds quite snobbish of me to say, it is san diego for crying out loud! i know, i know. some of you are cursing me right now, but hear me out.

california is two thousand miles away from home. two thousand. comfort, family, cornfields, familiarity are all two thousand miles away.

now i have been blessed with quite possibly the greatest family of all times and moving two thousand miles away from them does not sound ideal. they have always been a huge help, a huge support in my life, and i have loved being able to run home over the weekend whenever for whatever.

photocred: Always19 Photography

photocred: Always19 Photography

and now God is calling me to move my life two thousand miles away. to a beach. to warmth. to eternal sunshine and seventy degree weather. but the important part is that God is sending me. and i have no idea why, but i am going because His plans are more important than mine. clearly, He kind of wrecked the plans that i had in place and re-routed me. the great part is that He is big enough to do that and knows what is best for me. especially when i am being too stubborn to listen.

so what brings me out here? i will be working in logistics at a wholesaler. and we all know how much i love to nerd out on logistics. for those of you who are not familiar with the three-tier system of alcohol distribution, the wholesaler level sits between the brewery where we make the beer and the retail accounts where you buy the beer. this all came into play with the repeal of prohibition. when the twenty-first amendment was ratified on december fifth of nineteen thirty-three, the states began creating systems to regulate alcohol distribution. the amendment gave each state free reign to determine the methods in which alcohol would be re-introduced and regulated within the state, which leads to the fifty different legal precedents we have today. the three tier structure and additional taxes became the most common practice solutions to limit the shady back door deals and overconsumption of adult beverages. thus was the birth of the wholesaler in the alcohol industry.

and some where way down the line from all of that, here i am. in california. and so very excited about what comes next.

i can feel that God is using this. i am thrilled about the job i will be in. i think it is going to be a good fit for me. and i know He will make sure i am equipped.

but this takes me farther away from home. and per mother’s request, i am reinstating my blog. or at least committing to post more regularly as i have been slacking. but i need to find a place to live first, then i have some catching up to do. stories of ridiculous warehouse employees, the hogwarts express in harry potter world, the last superbowl and blinding blue lights, portland and seattle, my beautiful cousins at purdue, georgia tech and how to paint a football field, and the tacos of austin.

so here we go again. the start of a new adventure.

photocred: Always19 Photography

photocred: Always19 Photography

how many of you caught that i loaded Bailee onto a plane earlier? yeah, there will be a story coming about that one too.

Look at all da fishys!

August 9, 2015

so i took a little hiatus. i apologize. finding an apartment, moving, taking on a new job. and then another. and then a project. and getting my puppy back has left me with little free time. really. she just looks at me with those big brown eyes that plead for me to talk her for a walk. or a run. or a car ride… and i cave. every. single. time.

don't act like you could say no.

don’t act like you could say no.

but i am back! with a story about the Atlanta aquarium.

like most stereotypical human beings that have two x chromosomes, i love little creatures. and any zoo, aquarium, or dog park is a great place to find such creatures. well i settled with the second option in this particular instance for two reasons. 1. for the infamy of the Atlanta aquarium. 2. to not make my own favorite four-legged creature of the canine species jealous.

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well i should probably start with the story of how i ended back up in Atlanta during my traveling escapades.

it was march. and i was getting restless. so what better idea than to leave st. louis?! and where better to go than Georgia?! so off we went. it helped that our favorite Georgian brewery was holding their first public brewery tour.

so we piled in the car. and spent the eight hours singing every 90s hit and taking mediocre snapchats of anything within four feet of, well, my feet.

couldn't help myself.

couldn’t help myself.

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when we finally arrived sometime in the wee hours of the morning, our friend’s apartment was covered in confetti and empty beer cans, and we were the least bit surprised. but that is probably a story for another time.

the next day, some of the boys went golfing. and we went gawking.

well prepared.

well prepared.

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and staring. and pointing. and gasping at some of the most intriguing creatures. not all had four legs, but i still liked them just the same.

there was Melvin, the albino crocodile. his teeth weren’t so frightening when they blended into his skin.

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there was Alfred, the beluga whale. he was very graceful for a 3000 pound animal.

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Sammy, the stingray.  He was always smiling.

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Mr. Bubbles, a giant manta ray. He wouldn’t tell me his real name. or anything at all. but all of his friends called him Mr. Bubbles. and boy, did he love the diver’s bubbles.

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while it was an apt nickname, i think his friends could’ve been a little more creative.

and you can’t forget about Michael. He was pretty hard to miss.

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and then there were the jellyfish.

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and the regular fish.

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and my favorite of all… da otters!! now these little guys had created their own little raft in the aquarium. they swam. and played. and rolled. and wiggled. and giggled. okay, maybe it was just me giggling.

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did you know otters have the densest hair of all mammals? over 100,000 hairs in the space of a postage stamp. ladies, think about trying to brush that every morning. yikes.

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they can also hold their breath for eight minutes. eight! i would pass out.

this little guy wanted to go home with me.

this little guy wanted to go home with me.

also, they are the only amphibious member of the weasel family. and the only cute ones too.

i even made us go back to see them again before we left.

and of course after the aquarium, we had to grab something to eat. meandering around adorable critters will really get your appetite up.

so we ate.

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and went to our favorite libations establishment. where Brian was apparently doing his best Mr. Scrooge impression. with a smile on his face.

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and ate again. at the best brunch place. ever.

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i meant to take a picture before i started eating… and when it arrived i forgot until i was halfway done.

 

and then ate again.

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i don’t know where all that food went at the end.

and then we rolled ourselves back into the car, fat, stiff-necked, and happy, destined for St. Louis once again. but don’t worry Atlanta, i will be back one day.

and don’t worry. the fuzzy creatures of the St. Louis zoo will be coming up soon too!

Caution: Nerd Crossing

March 17, 2015

after an epic tour of chicago and Goose Island Beer Company, marketing sent us to to san fransisco, california. into the heart of silicon valley amongst the budding new technologies and hub of start ups. it was a geek’s paradise.

our first stop landed us in palo alto, ca. it is the home of our so called “beer garage”. i still do not quite grasp the implications of that name, but it is essentially our touch point for connecting with new technology and start up firms for business solutions in our beer company. i know. i know. it has nothing to do with a garage. it baffles me too.

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it rained every day. except the day we left.

 

on a rainy morning with a runny nose and a box of cold medicine, i meandered my way to the trendy, downtown creative haven where start up companies attempt to make their wildest dreams come true by landing the behemoth beer company as their clients. complete with swanky floor pillows, red statement couch, and a fully stocked beer fridge. but what AB building doesn’t have a fully stocked beer fridge? at the brewery, we call it the warehouse. it’s much more impressive.

from there, they sent us to singularity university. don’t know what that is? i didn’t at first either. it is associated with nasa research park. that’s right. i said nasa. and its goal is to educate leaders to implement exponential technologies to solve humanity’s grand challenges. don’t know what that means? i didn’t at first either. they work with technologies that are forward thinking and developing very quickly and how they can fix our world’s problems. it is pretty dang cool. if you want to learn more about it, go here.

want to ride a roller coaster? without leaving your chair? and even experience that same i'm-going-to-upchuck-all-over-the-person-in-front-of-me? try these babies out.

want to ride a roller coaster? without leaving your chair? and even experience that same i’m-going-to-upchuck-all-over-the-person-in-front-of-me? try these babies out.

and then we went to google. yep google. with the red, green, yellow, and blue bicycles. with food shops on every floor of every building. with sand volleyball courts and swim current pools. with bright-eyed eager nerds developing exciting new technologies. with the stairs that scroll the top topics being googled at any given time. did you know those stairs were put in specifically for the movie the internship? because i learned that. and the sign on the building. that wasn’t there before the movie either. nothing like a little cinema magic to spruce up the place.

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is your inner nerd silently freaking out?

well it gets better.

the next day we went to twitter.

i am not much of a tweeter. but it was cool to see. i liked the vine wall with the wooden bird hidden in it. and the hat. even though i look like a dork in it.

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twitter makes you want to swing.

twitter makes you want to swing.

and we ate delicious brazillian barbecue that evening. some in the group even ate the chicken hearts that were offered. i was not among that group.

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adults entertaining themselves maturely at dinner.

adults entertaining themselves maturely at dinner.

and the next day? well we went to facebook. facebook has a lot of food too.

in games of thrones, when they talk about the eating hall at the wall where jon snow is stationed, i always think of the facebook mess hall. i know. i know. there are diverse and delicious options in the facebook mess hall other than salted beef and fish and stale bread. and there are modernistic new chairs. and a dessert bar. and a coffee bar. and free monster energy drinks in coolers. i know they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. but there are long rows of tables and it is dimly lit. so i can’t help it. my imagination is a hard thing to control.

oh, and there is also a barber shop, urgent care, pizza joint, bowling alley, barbecue grill, walking tracks, mexican restaurant, and strange connecting walkways between buildings. it is like their own little village. that was intentionally designed to mismatch. but it is still pretty cool.

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oh. and there are free umbrellas everywhere.

and conor's was broken.

and conor’s was broken.

and then? we went to instagram. which is technically still at facebook. because facebook owns it. but the picture i took makes it look like the place is abandoned. because i thought it was funny. of all the places we went, this was probably the one social application that i use the most. too bad it has little to do with our current digital marketing strategy.

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to conclude our trip, our group ventured into downtown san francisco for a memorable night. or unmemorable for many in the group. but i don’t think that one is fit to print… so ask me about it if you are in need of a good story.

the main things that i learned from our trip?

1. it takes a lot of people to run the social applications we use every day.

2. those people need to be fed a lot of food. for free.

3. san francisco is rainy. very rainy. at least in december.

4. standford has a pretty campus. that i got lost running around. in the middle of a rain storm. through the mud.

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oh. and here is the bridge.

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Choo Choo!

March 8, 2015

so i have halfway written five posts. yes. five. i am lacking commitment right now. my mom would you tell you it is a flaw of mine. i would argue that it is an isolated flaw. or that maybe the true flaw is lack of persistence. or maybe it all depends on your reference of to what i am persistent or committed. regardless of what it may be, it is a flaw none the less. and mamma is always right.

but you did not come here to read a philosophical debate of whether i struggle with the state of being committed or the act of perseverance. so i am going to tell you about my choo choo train instead.

i was placed for my four month project in st. louis, missouri, the birthplace of budweiser beer. the flagship brewery of our company. where budweiser was created. raised. and sent off into the world from. and it was originally sent off by railcar. the development of the refrigerated car and use of pasteurization, pioneered by Mr. Adolphus Busch in the early 1970s, was a tipping point in the history of beer. no longer was beer a local commodity. it could be national. it could be safely transported to far off regions for each and every consumer to enjoy.

well i work in logistics now. i love logistics. i love math. i love optimization. i love efficiencies. it is how i am programmed to think, feel, and act. now call me a nerd. go ahead. do it. i will wait.

now that that is out of the way.

so in the st. louis brewery, we are (once again) utilizing railroad transportation to ship beer to designated regions for distribution. we are fickle souls here. we filled the rail pit with concrete in 2011. yes. only four years ago. i am telling you. fickle.

well my part in the implementation is to assist with the layout of the rail pit and surrounding area. which is interesting because i know very little about shipping beer over rail. or rail in general for that matter. my cousin works in the rail industry. and does quite splendidly. he knows far more about rail than i. but alas, i was challenged with the task instead. to help me learn, i guess.

and learn i have. the dimensions and variations and figures constantly swirl through my head. i even had a dream about railcars the other night. of course it was a runaway car that broke from the engine. and of course i was trapped and could not escape. and i am sure there is some subconscious meaning to it all. but i really think it just means that i spend too much time thinking about railroads.

so my typical day looks like this:

my day starts early. before the sun has has shown its face. but i love the look of the hot steam rolling off the brewery in the dark.

so early. so cold.

so early. so cold.

early mornings.

a little of update this. report that. email them.

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and then my shoes are usually discarded for my steel toes.

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and my jewelry is left on my desk.

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hopefully a safe distance from my piles of blueprints.

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my personal protection equipment is donned. including my three sizes too large neon yellow, reflective safety vest. if the minimum safety requirement is determined by body surface to vest surface, i believe i am well covered.

and i head to the warehouse. where i wander among stacks and stacks of beer. it is quite a sight to behold 650,000 cases of beer anxiously awaiting the glorious steed (aka trailer) that will whisk them away to their love’s (aka consumers) arms where they will be held, kissed, and then unceremoniously tossed aside (hopefully in a recycling bin) for a newer, younger version of themselves. i tell ya. it is a cruel world out there.

IMG_2991 or into the back of my trunk.

but now they await a new steed! a graffitied hunk of metal. but do not let his tough exterior fool you. he takes the same gentle care and sweet rocking. but it is always nice to know he is in for the long haul.

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so mostly i measure. observe. pester people with questions. and then come back to crunch the numbers. and though i never imagined this as part of my future, i really do enjoy it.

Goose Island Beer Company

January 15, 2015

so there is this really cool brewery up in chicago. maybe you have heard of it. it is called Goose Island. it was created in 1988. it makes delicious tasting beers.

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some very smart person at corporate decided that we needed to visit Goose Island to learn about there tactics of marketing. unaware of their shenanigans? feel free to reference this, this, and that.

as Thanksgiving came to a close, i trekked north into the frozen windy city again. not that st. louis is much warmer. but at least it is less windy. it counts for something.

day one at Goose Island was a marathon that i am not entirely sure my stomach was ready for.

have you heard of bourbon county stout? most beer snobs have. it is a treasured relic. a precious jewel. a rare gem to connoisseurs of craft beer. it is released only one day every year: the much dreaded black friday. while soccer moms and baseball dads wait in line at walmart, toys’r’us, and best buy; beer buffs everywhere are waiting in line outside of liquor stores and grocery chains in hopes of procuring this elusive beer.

and while i did not wait through the blistering illinois cold on the eve of november 28th, i had the privilege to try every flavor of bourbon county stout produced by Goose Island Brewing Company. you know, just a perk of the job.

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this year’s crop consisted of bourbon county stout original, bourbon country stout coffee, bourbon county barely wine, bourbon county stout vanilla rye, and a proprietor’s bourbon county stout reserve from 2014.

stouts are deceptive. they look intimidating. they smell intimidating. but they taste fairly smooth and inviting, except for that bitter bite of bourbon unique to this style. while they would not be my first choice, or a choice for casual, light drinking, it had an interesting taste that i can appreciate on special occasions.

from there, we were introduced to the sour sisters. maybe you have met them? they go by sophie, matilda, gillian, halia, lolita, juliet, and madame rose. as in real life, each lady has her own personality. some sweet. some strong. some tart. some bitter. but none of them are bland.

each person seems to have their “type”. my type is sophie. she is mild-mannered with a little flare for the dramatic exit. she is a lovely lady to spend the evening with, but she will leave you with a lasting reminder that she is gone.

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we tried some of the sisters during a tasting. and others during a delicious beer pairing lunch. others during a beer pairing lunch. sophie can be everyone’s best friend but particularly pairs well with salads. matilda needs a stronger partner and matches well with fatty meats and potent cheeses. juliet’s bold personality likes to be the dominating flavor in the room, so she is best coupled with a sweet and shy fruit cheesecake.

you won’t forget meeting the sour sisters. no one forgets their first. regardless of whichever lady is your favorite, make sure you take her out to a nice dinner and walk home with her at night.

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we drank a multitude of beers. starting at nine in the morning. this was the result of our day. well, that and a bit of a restless tummy.

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we also spent time walking around the enormous barrel aging cellar, visiting with local marketing agencies, and meandering through the breweries on fulton street and clybourne. but i do not think you want to hear about me walking around, so i will leave you with pictures of those for now.

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Chicago, Illinois

January 5, 2015

so the last week of my sales rotation landed me in chicago.

chicago. in the middle of november. during the polar vortex that swept through the midwest. with single digit weather and negative wind chills.

i went from 60’s and 70’s to the single digits and negatives. it was what we call a “rough transition”.

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my toes were frozen. my fingers were frozen. and worst of all, my nose was frozen. i hate when my nose is frozen.

to cheer my frozen spirits, i visited a good friend from high school for an all day lord of the rings marathon. complete with warm blankets and baileys. and during a candid game of catch phrase, i was even thrilled to learn her favorite color was still purple. thankfully, some things never change.

a throwback because i forgot to get a picture. ellen was always picking up me.

a throwback because i forgot to get a picture. ellen was always picking up me.

the rest of my nights for the week were warmed with room service and good books. winter makes me a bit of a hermit.

i love to be outside. i love to enjoy the green plants and warm sunshine. fresh breezes. tree smells. rustling leaves. splashing in water. i would happily spend the whole day outside. in the spring. or summer. or fall.

in the winter? heck no. it is cold. so i sit inside and attempt to combat cabin fever with whatever random activities my frozen brain cells can conjure. mostly reading, baking, knitting, and pinteresting.

except for one day. one very cold day, we ventured out into the midwestern frozen tundra. to indianapolis. yes, indianapolis.

“why?” you ask.

because i wanted to play sardines in an excursion filled with seven grown men.

because i wanted to take a four hour joy ride at five in the morning.

because i wanted a chickfila breakfast sandwich.

because i wanted to visit the leaders of the best wholesalers in indiana.

do you not want to drive four hours at five in the morning on any given tuesday to the outskirts of indianapolis to a wholesalers meeting?

i mean, who wouldn’t?

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our view for the trip.

our view for the trip.

the view of us during the trip.

the view of us during the trip.

breakfast of champions.

breakfast of champions.

the beautiful countryside.

the beautiful countryside.

No Good, Dirty Rotten Monday

November 12, 2014

it was a terrible case of the mondays.

the worst kind of monday. the kind that hits you after an incredible and inevitably too short weekend. it creeps up on you. silently and swiftly to steal all of your joy and happiness. like a thief in the sunday night. that kind of monday.

we reported to work at 6:15 am. the sun was not yet brightening the sky. the birds were soundly asleep in their nests. the flowers were lazily resting their petaled heads. there was no one awake yet to show off for.

and we were at work. we were the ONLY ones at work. i am currently in a development program. it is terribly hard to learn from the industry experts when you have no one present to learn from.

what did we do?

i am so glad you asked.

Laura and i left. adios. adeus. adieu. au revior. arrivederci. daag. sayonara. ciao. hasta la vista baby.

for only thirty minutes. to go to starbucks. it was necessary. even though i cannot have caffeine. straight sugar can be a substitute. and that is exactly what a vanilla bean creme frappuccino is. delicious, sip-able sugar. at 7 am. it was one of those kind of mondays.

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and then we went back to the office. for what would surely be the worst monday of the year. maybe even the decade. the sun still just barely cresting the eastern sky.

we returned to find that the lady we were supposed to shadow was unfortunately suffering a severe migraine. and she was not going to be able to make it to the office that morning. well, that left us with an entire, unplanned day. surely to be thrust upon some unsuspecting victim who would not have a plan or faint outline of possible important topics to cover with us. we would inevitably become a burden on the poor soul. and as much as he would insist that we were not a hassle, we would have been. and our no good, dirty rotten monday would be forced upon him as well.

but oh, how the tables of fate would turn that monday morning at 7:30 am.

no poor soul was burdened with the terrible pain of our presence. no unfortunate being had to attempt to entertain us. no downtrodden human was forced to pretend that he was happy to have us wreck his already miserable monday.

no. no, that did not happen.

instead they sent us to sea world.

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we frolicked. we played.

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we made friends with sea turtles.IMG_8305 IMG_1872and sea lions.

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this guy.

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and sharks.IMG_1888

we walked among flamingos.

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we fed manta rays. the spotted eagle rays are my favorite. but be wary of the cownose rays. they will suck your hand off if you let them. the southern stingrays were monstrous. and one had a litter of babies.

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courtesy of Laura Slater.

i am still unsure of that sensation.

i am still unsure of that sensation. courtesy of Laura Slater.

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courtesy of Laura Slater.

we rode roller coasters. over and over and over again. there were no lines. we never watched our step and exited the ride. i think the attendants knew our names by the end of the day.

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we were splashed by shamu’s cousins. they seemed to enjoy it a little too much.

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courtesy of Laura Slater

courtesy of Laura Slater

we met a baby dolphin that was 2 days old. it would not leave its mother’s side. swimming right along her side and blissfully leaping out of the water at times.

can you spot the little guy?

can you spot the little guy?

we reenacted the titanic. fortunately we found a door big enough for two.

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we floated over the harbor to take in the sights of san diego.

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we watched a pair of sea lions solve a murder mystery. and there was the otter with them. oh, how i loved the otter. i would have taken the ornery booger home as a pet.

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now i know what you’re thinking. it was monday. we were supposed to be working. it simply is not fair that we were off playing for the whole day in the delightful san diego weather. but that would not be a fair assumption. we worked very hard to evaluate current market trends and promote our brand. it was a tough day.

IMG_1910 IMG_1908in case you could not gather from the pictures, we had a marvelous day. like all scary monsters hiding in the closet, when the lights turned on, we found that our no good, dirty rotten monday was really the best monday of the year.  

San Diego in 600 Words or Less

November 7, 2014

so back to the timeline.

after my whirlwind weekend in Golden and twenty-four hours in St. Louis, i was on a plane to California. curled up and comfy, watching an incredible sunset out of the window as we flew west.

i had no idea what was in store for me. i had been to California once before this, specifically to San Diego. it was for a close family friends wedding. a beautiful couple that i actually had the chance to see while i was out here. and they made me the tastiest pesto chicken pasta. and let me play with their dog for hours. it was more than i could have hoped for. they are precious together.

i think this should be in a movie.

i think this should be in a movie.

the first week, we spent exploring the warehouse. learning about the operational side of a wholesaler. how the beer arrives from the brewery, is depalletized, sorted into orders, repacked, and shipped out to retail accounts.

and we learned how to drive the walkie forklifts. all i gotta say is that rabbit mode is awesome.

the next week, we unexpectedly got to explore sea world. but i will tell you more about that later. it deserves its own post. solely because there are far too many pictures.

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i also spent time with on-premise sales reps, off-premise sales reps, merchandizers, delivery truck drivers, marketing coordinators, district sales managers, and senior management. i spent time in chain stores, broad market stores, liquor stores, bars, restaurants, and clubs. i spent a lot of time driving around in various vehicles with the Budweiser logo plastered along the side. i spent time unloading trucks, rearranging back storage, counting endless cases, rotating product, and freezing my tush off in the coolers.

for those of you who know me, i am always cold. always. i understand that it is 75 degrees everyday in San Diego. i still wear a jacket at almost all times. there is no farce or exaggeration to this statement. now imagine me in a 30 degree cooler. it is not a pleasant sight. i shiver, i shake, and i stop functioning entirely. it is probably my least favorite part of the program.

so i have learned quite a bit in San Diego. but i have also had quite a bit of fun.

we spent nights at the beach. we spent nights watching the sunset. we ate delicious food. we explored the Gaslamp district. we spent days lounging in the sun. we spent days exploring La Jolla. we made cookies. we worked out. we celebrated halloween. we went on a harbor cruise. we rode roller coasters. we ate lots of ice cream.  we were given delicious desserts. we saw some old friends. we made some new friends. and we took plenty of pictures.

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we had to visit the scene of the crime.

we had to visit the scene of the crime.

yes. i wear a child's size.

yes. i wear a child’s size.

Goose, Maverick, and Iceman

Goose, Maverick, and Iceman

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lots of ice cream.

lots of ice cream.

always free desserts.

always free desserts.

Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado

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it has been an eventful four weeks. and i can not believe that it has already come to an end.

i am excited for what is next. i head to Los Angeles this weekend. and in celebration of that, here are a few pictures from last weekend when i went to visit!

i got to see a dear friend, Katie, who is as incredible as ever.

i got to see a dear friend, Katie, who is as incredible as ever.

i could get used to this.

i could get used to this.

A Temporary Goodbye

October 19, 2014

the last two weeks at Cartersville was a whirlwind of late nights, last dinners, last teasing jokes, last project meetings, last happy hours, last visits.

it is sad to leave Georgia. i felt very at home there. southern hospitality, pickup trucks, guns, rolling hills, and incredible people. we tried to say thank you to people as best as we could, but how do you show enough gratitude to these people? it is hard. no. it is impossible. the intentional time and energy that they invested in us is unparalleled. they made us feel like we were part of the family in Cartersville, and you can never say thank you enough for that kind of hospitality. so here is a smattering of pictures for our stay in Cartersville. to show you how much fun we had.

hot sauce stand off. Ryan won.

hot sauce stand off. Ryan won.

i look like a child.

i look like a child.

more beer tastings.

more beer tastings.

final happy hour.

final happy hour.

this is not edited at all.

this is not edited at all.

i also had the chance to find a little piece of home during my final week in Cartersville. i have a beautiful friend that moved to Alabama four years ago for college. she has the biggest heart. she is studying to be a special education teacher. she will be phenomenal at it. she was also my partner in crime in high school. my fellow rapscallion, as our coach used to call us. whether we were playing in mud puddles or the nearby creek on our run or traipsing up to the high school roof, she was always right by my side. what more could i ask for? she brought her puppy up for the day and we picked up right were we left off: exploring the woods, eating fresh pecans, and talking about life. she is incredible, and i cannot wait to see what great things she does with her life.

beautiful Jenna!

beautiful Jenna!

meet Bonnie, she's adorable.

meet Bonnie, she’s adorable.

fresh cracked pecans.

fresh cracked pecans.

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so my time in Cartersville has wrapped up. it was an incredible adventure. i will miss it greatly. but i hope to be back there again. hopefully very soon.

Kennesaw Craft Beer Fest

October 15, 2014

today starts week 1 in California.

but there’s so much i haven’t told you about Georgia yet. so i’m going to do that.

i’ll show you a quick photo of us helping save the environment by picking up trash at the local lake in cartersville. and then skip over the rest of that story because no one wants to hear about the good deeds i did.

clean up crew.

clean up crew.

i love lakes.

i love lakes.

the highlight of that day was really the kennesaw craft beer festival.

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we actually went with the vip tickets. mostly because they had free food and the delicious goose island beers. it was a solid choice. because not only was there free food and delicious goose island beers, there was a designated area sectioned off for vip guests only in an empty house. (that’s a terrible sentence with too many prepositions. i apologize.)

now this was very important for two reasons.

number one: there was this guy. he is a nice guy. but he was a little intoxicated and not quick about picking up on my very obvious social cues. my friends found this to be very entertaining. i did not. but his yellow wristband did not allow him to enter the vip only section. hello safe haven.

number two: there was a bathroom in this house. a bathroom. an actual bathroom. with an actual toilet with an actual (relatively) clean seat that did not smell like that blue gunk. when enjoying steady portions of liquid libations over six hours, a real bathroom is crucial. not a port-a-potty. not a bush in the woods. not an empty bottle in the back of a moving van on a long road trip. a real bathroom. ladies, i know you know what i’m talking about.

we tried most of the local brands. some were okay. some less than okay. but i was a little disappointed. i am not a hophead. i will never be. i like my beers to be balanced. a crisp lager or an amber ale or a sessionable ipa. occasionally a good hefeweizen or belgium wit. most of the beers available were so strongly hopped that i was curious how many imperfections they were trying to cover. when i first started drinking, i favored local brews that had a stronger malty flavor and an occasional bitter brew. things that i originally perceived to be craft beer.  so i was a little shocked to find that the brands that i enjoyed most were owned by AB: goose island 312 pale ale, blue point toasted lager, and shock top raspberry wheat. i guess i picked the right company. although i am starting to strongly question how we define “craft”. six million barrels per year is not exactly small.

modeling by the bud light tent.

modeling by the bud light tent.

besides the beer, the festival was fun. a few local live bands covering everything from ACDC to Taylor Swift. their performances steadily improved throughout the course of the event. that or my perception of their performance did. the Georgia game was on the tv, much to many fans’ delight. there was corn hole on the lawn and people aimlessly milling about.

the true highlight of the beer festival was a hidden gem that we found early and frequented often. it was delicious, refreshing, melt-in-your-mouth beer ice cream. it was real tasty. the vanilla bock was my favorite. granted, i couldn’t have the chocolate ones, but i was (ruthlessly) teased of their heavenly taste. check it out here. and if you get a chance, give it a taste.

and now for a smattering of pictures for you to enjoy. and i promise to update more soon about the end of Georgia, the beginning of California, and my trip to KC this weekend!

my new friend, mr. bumbles.

my new friend, mr. bumbles.

i miss them.

i miss them.

the varsity munchies after.

the varsity munchies after.