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11 October 2004 @ 07:26 am
What a whirlwind weekend!

Friday after work, I headed up to Mickey Finn's, for a send-off for a co-worker. She's gonna be in Ireland for the next 11 months! Yet despite our best efforts, we couldn't get her to try the stout. Oh well, she'll learn. Was a pleasant evening...Got to chat with workfolk, including re-connecting with some of those I used to work with on the Conversion team. Left a little after 7, so I'd be able to help enveri get the house ready for weekend company. I made sure to snag a growler of Oktoberfest first, though!

Saturday, the parentals arrived, in what has become a yearly tradition. This time, though, they were coming out to also inspect the new house! Their flight was delayed, so me and enveri had an extra couple hours to tidy the house. I think it was looking pretty respectable by the time we left to pick up the folks!

Their flight arrived at O'hare without incident, and we headed out. Rather than heading immediately north, we headed west to Schaumburg, to nab some supplies for the most wonderful birthday present enveri got me (with the help of the experts, aureth and duncandahusky)- homebrew gear! Thanks all of you :) So we headed to Brew & Grow in Schaumburg.

Since it's my first batch, we pestered the staff there for help in picking out the needed bits. I will leave the specific brew secret, for it will likely be making its debut at MFF, but I will say, it's not a common homebrew flavor, and it should be quite potent ;) The staff was quite happy to help us get things started, offer pointers, and even give us samples of their own homebrew! Fun place, though I spent rather more than I meant to. This is probably because the malt content of the recipe was about double that of most other recipes in the Joy of Homebrewing!

From the B&G, we headed up to BD's, to meet feren for lunch. Was my mom's first time there, and, as with most other people, she loved it! We ate, chatted, and basically had a good time. Some fun banter was had with Sarah, the server, as well. enveri managed to wrest the tab from my folks, which led to a little scuffling match between her and feren as he tried to pay his share. Two stubborn felines go in, one comes out! ;)

After lunch, we parted ways with feren and headed up to the house. The 'rents got the tour, and gave it their stamp of approval! Since my father had just returned from Russia on Wednesday, he was a little tired, so we took it fairly easy that night. He helped me get the brew started, and the ladies cooked up a rather relaxed and tasty breakfast-dinner of eggs, sausage, and bagels!

Sunday, we started of with beignets using a box of mix we had around. We managed to coax Lori over with those, despite it being about 3 hours before her normal wakeup-time. I also had to go check on my brew, of course...was thrilled to find it happily blurping away in the basement utility room! Fermentation proceeds apace.

After beignets and coffee, and a little sitting around the living room and talking, we headed up to Milwaukee, since my parents had never been there. We drove around for a little bit, since none of us had any real plan. Eventually, we parked downtown, and spent a while walking along the Milwaukee Riverwalk. We ended up at the Water Street Brewery for lunch, and decent beers. I still like Finn's and Goose Island better! After beer, we found an amazing used bookstore, where enveri and I both stocked up. I nabbed two hardback Stephen King books, a hardback book on samoyeds, and my own copy of The Joy of Homebrewing. Made it at just under $21!

After that, we headed back to Illinois, making a quick stop at the Mars Cheese Castle. My parents needed to experience Wisconsin kitch! My mom picked up a couple kringles (which are unheard of out east), and my dad grabbed some fun mustards. And Lori, of course, grabbed some Black Bavarian. Once Michael's Pub starts carrying that, we think she's gonna move in with us!

We made a quick stop by Gurnee for some house supplies (decorative stuff from Pier 1, vertical blinds from Home Depot, multimeter from Radio Shack). After that, back to the house! While the ladies cooked up a wonderful pasta dinner, my father and I put up the vertical blinds in the master bedroom (yay, no more comforter over the window!), and put in the smoke/CO detectors. For once, something in the house is wired intelligently! The smoke detectors all share a single, standalone circuit, and they have a 3rd wire to talk to each other so that if one goes off, they all go off. This, in the same house where there aren't really any phone jacks, just phone cables run out through the drywall, and plugged into a male/male converter ;)

Dinner was excellent (spaghetti, marinara, salad, balsamic dressing, and garlic bread). Dessert was a family tradition, Famous Chocolate Wafer Refrigerator Roll, which is so famous that almost nobody's ever heard of it ;) Lori took off after that, and we headed to bed soon after, since we had an early morning ahead.

Which brings us to today. Took the folks to the train station before sunrise, to catch an early train to O'hare, where they would catch an early flight. Ugh! Was quite a whirlwind weekend, but very fun :) Happy Birthday to my fellow 11ths out there, yotogi and gatcat! Enjoy this day, as it was foretold in the prophecy ;)

Something good: Glurping beer

Something bad: Late-night train conductors who take glee in waking up an entire town by laying on the whistle the entire way through town, not just at the crossings

Something disturbing: Nearly-bursting yeast packets
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Bathtime in Clerkenwell - damn you, Skorzy!!
Aurethaureth on October 11th, 2004 01:30 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, Mars Cheese Castle! Despite living near it for years, it was only recently I experienced the power of its kitsch. It is mighty, indeed.

Glad to hear the brewing went well! I look forward to experiencing your creation. Nearly busting yeast packets aren't disturbing, they just mean that the yeast is ready to go to work! :)

And a happy birthday to you, as well!
Rattus scientificusskorzy on October 11th, 2004 04:57 pm (UTC)
More disturbing than nearly-bursting yeast packets are bursting primary fermentors.

"... I didn't know krausen could form such a perfect, uniform ring!"
Gatcat: arrogant bastard (dot com)gatcat on October 11th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC)

Now get that present of yours working full time and fill this earth with the glory thereof! May thy suds prove viable (yea forsooth!) whereupon shalt thou render them unto thy birthbrethren when the furfest riseth in the midwest.

Yotogiyotogi on October 11th, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC)

Oh yea.

Yea verily.
coldfyre on October 11th, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)
"I nabbed two hardback Stephen King books, a hardback book on samoyeds, and my own copy of The Joy of Homebrewing. Made it at just under $21!"

What, are you playing bookstore blackjack? :)
Brendan: Grinnin Foolroho on October 11th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah! Usually when I go into a bookstore, I bust ;)
Rattus scientificus: Playskool Skorzy Rattaskorzy on October 11th, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
I demand HOMEBREW at MFF!

Gahh.. I have to get my own stuff in gear! Just haven't fallen back "in step" with normalcy since my move!

I will bring my bottle of Gibson's. :)
Elfasielfasi on October 11th, 2004 06:20 pm (UTC)
I hope those Stephen King books included the last few in the Dark Tower series! :)
Brendan: Grinnin Foolroho on October 11th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC)
No, I've been forbidden from purchasing those with the holiday season approaching ;)
Elfasielfasi on October 11th, 2004 06:57 pm (UTC)
Neither of the last 2?? Oh my god.. I've just finished the penultimate one, Susannah's Song, and oh my god. There should be some kind of law against literary induced head-f*cking. The book goes so far beyond messing with your mind, there just aren't words for it.. There aren't even books for it, this book goes beyond books. There are certain rules with works of fiction and stories and books, and this just tears them up! Throws them out the window! You have to read it soon ;). Just bought the final book and will be reading it very soon :)
TuftEarstuftears on October 11th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)
Kringles! Those look tasty. Beignets sound tasty but I knew about those before too.
Giachetta Rigogliosa "Magnavixen" Ruciomagnavixen on October 11th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC)
Mars Cheese Castle... Ahhrrr. So many good memories of stopping there. :) Sounds most excellent.

duncandahusky on October 12th, 2004 01:02 am (UTC)
I'm thinking we will need a homebrew party at MFF. I put five gallons of a Mackeson's-clone and five gallons of McEwan's-Scotch-Ale-clone into kegs this weekend. Now I just need to figure out how to keep 'em cold throughout the weekend.
Gatcat: arrogant bastard (dot com)gatcat on October 13th, 2004 03:12 pm (UTC)
Time to fill the ol' bathtub with ice again. After all, who needs hygiene? It's a con!
Brendan: Hideyroho on October 15th, 2004 02:29 am (UTC)
Better that than you spreading the ice evenly over the carpet again!